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Winnenden aftermath

September 16, 2010

The father of Tim K., the 17-year-old who shot dead 15 people and then killed himself in a 2009 school massacre, goes on trial this Thursday, charged with neglecting safety precautions.

Candles surrounding a cardboard sign with the word 'why?'
The shock of 'why?' still persists in Winnenden, 18 months laterImage: AP

The father of the teenager, who killed his victims in a rampage at a school in Winnenden near Stuttgart last year, is accused of leaving the weapon his son used unsecured in a bedroom cupboard at the family home.

Prosecutors originally wanted to charge the man with involuntary manslaughter as well as negligence for ignoring German gun law regulations. But the father now faces a maximum one year in jail after the court reduced the charges. Were he to be convicted of the much more serious involuntary manslaughter charge, he would face up to five years in prison.

On March 11, 2009, Tim K. entered his former school in Winnenden and began shooting students with his father's 9mm Beretta pistol. Nine students, three teachers and three bystanders outside the school died in the attack.

Author: Gregg Benzow (epd/dpa)
Editor: Rob Turner