(Heidelberg) A man injured four people with a gun on Monday noon in an amphitheater of Germany’s oldest university in Heidelberg (southwest), before committing suicide, according to police sources.
Posted at 8:29
Updated at 10:19 a.m.
“The perpetrator allegedly fired a long gun during a course given in an amphitheater at the Neuenheimer Feld University, injuring, in part seriously, four people,” Mannheim police said in a statement.
The shooter “then committed suicide,” said Mannheim police spokesman Stefan Wilhelm.
The police assume that it was a single perpetrator and therefore considered that there was “no longer a dangerous situation”.
Investigators are currently “not aware of a letter of claim”, while the police have called on public opinion to avoid speculation.
According to the public broadcaster Südwestrundfunk (SWR), after the attack, which occurred shortly after noon, the University of Heidelberg asked its students by email not to go to the campus in the Neuenheimer Feld district.
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 Always open — “always open” — and the institution shows its willingness to work in a spirit of openness and tolerance.
After several months 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.
Strict arms control
German legislation on the possession of firearms was tightened after two attacks perpetrated in schools in Erfurt (east) in April 2002, and Winnenden (south-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 in Munich, nine people were killed when the maniac David Ali Sonboly opened fire in a shopping center. At least 35 people were also injured in the attack, which began at a McDonald’s 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. Germany has also been affected in recent years by jihadist attacks and attacks by far-right militants.