Germany | Several injured in university attack, shooter dead

(Berlin) A man with a firearm injured several people in an amphitheater at the University of Heidelberg in southwestern Germany on Monday before being found dead.

Posted at 8:29
Updated at 9:20 a.m.

France Media Agency

“An individual injured several people in an amphitheater with a long weapon,” Mannheim police said in a statement before adding that the assailant was “dead”.

However, she did not specify the conditions of this death while the police arrived in large numbers on the scene. According to the daily image, the shooter committed suicide.

The police also indicated that they were “not aware of a letter of protest”, while calling on public opinion to avoid speculation.

According to information from the public broadcaster Südwestrundfunk (SWR), the University of Heidelberg has asked its students by email not to go to the campus in the Neuenheimer Feld district. However, there would be “no more imminent threat”, according to SWR.

This university site, located on the north bank of the Neckar river, notably hosts faculties of natural sciences, departments of the university hospital center and the botanical garden.

The University of Heidelberg, founded in 1386, is the oldest university in Germany. This research institution is a state university, with a wide range of courses, from humanities to medicine, and is located in Baden-Württemberg (southwest), between Stuttgart and Frankfurt.

The university’s motto is “Semper apertus” – “always open” – and the institution displays its desire to work in a spirit of openness and tolerance.

Binding gun laws

After several semesters of distance learning due to the pandemic, classes resumed face-to-face there in October, a researcher working at this university told AFP. She specified that checks were carried out at the entrance to the establishment, in particular of the health passport.

German firearms laws were tightened after two attacks on schools in the eastern city of Erfurt in April 2002 and the southern city of Winnenden. West, in March 2009. The weapons used in these two cases had been previously declared.

Now the country has one of the strictest laws in Europe requiring anyone under the age of 25 to pass a psychiatric examination before applying for a gun license.

In 2016, nine people were killed when the maniac David Ali Sonboly opened fire in a shopping center in Munich.

At least 35 people were also injured in the attack, which began in a McDonald’s franchise and ended when the shooter turned his 9mm Glock pistol on himself.

The Munich assault had sparked a heated debate in the country over whether to tighten gun laws again.

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