Fifteen victims of a high school shooting 7 years ago have been remembered in Winnenden, a southern German town. The father of the deceased 17-year-old shooter is suing a psychiatric clinic, saying it failed to warn him.
Residents of Winnenden, near Stuttgart, read aloud the victims' names and pealed bells at 9.33 a.m. on Friday to mark the moment when police received the first emergency call from its traumatized Albertville high school in 2009.
Tim K. took the semi-automatic pistol from an unlocked bedroom closet of his father, a recreational gun-owner, went to his former school and shot nine pupils and three teachers. He later shot three passers-by, before killing himself on March 11, 2009.
In a pending civil lawsuit, due to been heard on March 22, the father plans to argue that doctors and therapists at the clinic near Heilbronn, failed to warm him that his son posed a firearms risk.
In previous proceedings, Stuttgart's regional court passed an 18-month suspended sentence on the father for leaving the weapon unsecured and ordered him to pay remedial costs for the victims and relatives.
Over the past 14 years, Europe has endured at least seven fatal attacks at schools.
Winnenden was preceded in 2002 by at shooting spree at the Gutenberg high school in Erfurt, eastern Germany, when a pupil, angered by his expulsion, gunned down 16 people, including 12 teachers and two students.
In 2012, an Islamist shot dead three students and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse, after shooting dead three soldiers.
Last Monday, an alarm was triggered at a school in Constance in southern Germany. Police gave an all-clear after searching classrooms.
ipj/rc (dpa, AFP)