Shooting scare at German school near Stuttgart

Police in the southwestern German town of Esslingen say they are searching for a teenager who reportedly entered a school with a gun. Officers say the suspect fled the premises on a motorbike.

Students at the Friedrich-Ebert School in Esslingen raised the alarm on Monday after spotting a man with a firearm inside the building, according to police.

Spokesman Björn Reusch said the suspect did not fire the weapon and no one was hurt during the incident.

Authorities described him as "male, aged 17-19, 170-180cm (67-71 inches) tall, bearded, darker skin, (wearing) a blue T-shirt & light shorts."

He reportedly left of his own accord, fleeing on a motorbike.

The technical and vocational school was put under security lockdown for several hours. The high-school-aged students were ordered to stay in their classrooms while the school was searched as a precaution. Other nearby schools and kindergartens were also barricaded, but police eventually gave the all-clear for students to go home after a search of the area came up empty.

Read: On Erfurt anniversary, school psychologist calls for increased counselling

Authorities made an arrest earlier on Monday, but released him a short time later, saying they had the wrong person.

Local and federal police have blocked some of the streets in Esslingen and deployed helicopters to help search for the suspect. Police also used Twitter to appeal to the public to keep photos off social media until their operation had ended.

 Read: Hells Angels member charged in Frankfurt gangland shooting

Karte Stuttgart Esslingen ENG

A deadly moment in the garden

The school scare and subsequent search came after police arrested a 52-year-old man on Saturday evening for the fatal shooting of his wife and his daughter's boyfriend in the nearby town of Nürtingen. After departing the daughter's apartment following an argument, the suspect reportedly returned to the home, where he drew a pistol and proceeding to shoot first the boyfriend, who had placed himself in the man's way, and then the wife while all were in the garden.

Related Subjects

German media reported the likely cause as "long-term family problems."

Nürtingen and Esslingen both lie in the same adminsitrative district.
Read: At least one killed after shooting reported in Düren, western Germany


Saarbrücken, 1871

This church in the western German city of Saarbrücken housed a secondary school from 1820 to 1891. On May 25, 1871, Julius Becker, a pupil known as an eccentric loner, shot at two fellow students after his father received a note warning of his worsening grades. Both boys were badly injured, but recovered. Becker was ruled non-accountable for his actions by a court, and likely died in an asylum.


Bremen, 1913

This funeral procession was held in the northern city of Bremen in 1913 for five girls, aged 7 to 8, who died during a gun attack on their school by a 30-year-old unemployed teacher, Heinz Schmidt, on June 20. Several other girls, staff members, a roofer and some boys playing outside also were injured in the attack on Sankt-Marien-Schule in the Walle district. Schmidt ended his days in an asylum.


Cologne, 1964

On June 11, 1964, a 42-year-old man, Walter S., used a homemade flame thrower and lance to fatally injure eight children and two female teachers at a Catholic elementary school in the Volkhoven district of Cologne. Twenty more children and two teachers received burns. S. later killed himself by taking poison. Before dying, he said the attack motive was that people wanted to kill him.


Eppstein, 1983

These are the weapons used by 34-year-old Czech refugee Karel C. in a deadly attack on the Freiherr-vom-Stein comprehensive school in Eppstein in what was then West Germany. C. killed three students aged 11-12, a teacher and a police officer and injured another 14 people, before killing himself. An autopsy showed he acted under the influence of alcohol, but the motive remains unknown.


Erfurt, 2002

The massacre in Erfurt, the capital of the German state of Thuringia, took place on April 26, 2002, at the Gutenberg-Gymnasium. Robert S., 19, who had been previously been expelled from the school, shot and killed 13 staff members, two students and a police officer. A teacher finally managed to placate him before pushing him into an empty room, where he committed suicide.


Emsdetten, 2006

On November 20, 2006, Sebastian B., an 18-year-old ex-pupil of the Geschwister-Scholl Schule in the western town of Emsdetten, went on a rampage at the school with various guns and smoke bombs. He shot and injured four students aged 12-16 and a janitor. A teacher and 16 police were also injured by smoke bombs, before B. shot himself. Police later said he often played a violent video game.


Winnenden, 2009

On March 11, 2009, Tim K., an ex-pupil from the Albertville-Realschule in the southern town of Winnenden, went on a shooting spree at the school with a pistol he took from his parents. He killed nine pupils aged 14-16, eight of them girls, and three female teachers. On a further rampage in Winnenden and nearby Wendlingen, he killed three more people, then himself. No motive was ever found.

cmb/rc (dpa, AFP)

Related content