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Germany school shooting injures one, suspect arrested

‘Students are in their classrooms with their teachers. The police have the situation on the ground under control,’ police say

Police arrest a shooting suspect in Bremerhaven, Germany, May 19, 2022 (video screenshot)
Police arrest a shooting suspect in Bremerhaven, Germany, May 19, 2022 (video screenshot)

FRANKFURT, Germany — Shots were fired in a school in Germany on Thursday, injuring one person in the northern city of Bremerhaven, police said, adding that they had arrested the suspected gunman.

The incident happened at the Lloyd Gymnasium, a secondary school in the center of Bremerhaven, local police said in a statement.

“The armed person has been arrested and is in police custody,” they said.

The injured person was not a pupil, police said, and has been taken to hospital.

“Students are in their classrooms with their teachers. The police have the situation on the ground under control,” the statement added.

School shootings are relatively rare in Germany, a country with some of the strictest gun laws in Europe.

But a recent spate has rattled the population.

Bremerhaven police tweeted that a large deployment was underway in the city center and asked residents to avoid the Mayor-Martin-Donandt square and surrounding streets, in the vicinity of the Lloyd secondary school.

Last week, investigators in Germany’s city of Essen said they foiled a school bomb assault, as they arrested a 16-year-old who is suspected to have been planning a “Nazi terror attack.” Police in Essen stormed the teen’s room overnight, taking him into custody and uncovering 16 “pipe bombs,” as well as antisemitic and anti-Muslim material.

In January, an 18-year-old student opened fire in a lecture hall at Heidelberg University in southwestern Germany, killing a young woman and injuring three others before fleeing the scene and turning the weapon on himself.

In 2009, a former pupil killed nine students, three teachers and three passersby in a school shooting at Winnenden, in the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. The gunman then killed himself.

In 2002, a 19-year-old former student, apparently in revenge for having been expelled, shot dead 16 people including 12 teachers and two students at a school in the central German city of Erfurt. He too then killed himself.

The Winnenden and Erfurt massacres were carried out with legal weapons and spurred Germany to tighten gun laws.

The country currently requires anyone under 25 to pass a psychiatric exam before applying for a gun license.

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