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School Shooting

March 14, 2009

Germans mourned the deaths of this week's school shooting victims as the first burial took place Saturday. Authorities are still investigating the rampage that resulted in the death of 16 people, including the gunman.

Candles and flowers outside the school where the shooting took place
People remembered victims of the shooting at the school in WinnendenImage: AP

Details about the life of the German teenager who shot dead 15 people including nine school pupils before killing himself continued to emerge Saturday, March, 14, three days after the shooting took place.

Investigators said Tim K., 17, played "Far Cry 2," a first-person shooter video game in which players hunt arms traffickers in the jungle, the night before he went on a rampage at his former school in southwestern Germany, the news magazine Der Spiegel reported on its Web site Saturday.

Students cry at the school in Winnenden
The teenage gunman killed 15 people before he diedImage: AP

On Wednesday, the teenager shot dead eight girls, one boy and three female teachers at the school, and killed three bystanders. He died in a shootout with police around 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the school. Police say he shot himself.

"To us, he was a calm young man, completely normal," the gunman's paternal grandmother told the mass-market Bild newspaper on Saturday.

"Why he did it is a mystery and will remain so," her husband added in the same report.

The Bavarian state government, which tried but failed to ban such killer games in its region two years ago, seems likely to try again in the light of this latest massacre.

Bavarian Premier Horst Seehofer said he would consult with state ministers and consider renewing calls for a ban on violent video games as well as changes to German gun laws.

Scene of a character dying in the game
Some in Germany have renewed calls for a ban of violent video games

Horst Seehofer, state premier, said in this weekend’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper "I plan to talk with my Cabinet about the killer game ban, as well as the storage rules for weapons, and above all, about more prevention measures," he said in a report to appear in Sunday's Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Der Spiegel said investigators examined the teenager's computer and found that he regularly took part in Internet discussion forums. Authorities said he had referred to previous school massacres during his online exchanges, according to the magazine.

Authorities investigating the shooting said they are still working to uncover whether a message warning of the attacks and originally thought to have been posted by K. on the Internet was actually sent by him.

Meanwhile, some 50 psychologists continued providing treatment to students and other members of the community, said Dieter Glatzer, who is coordinating the psychologists' work. He said teams of psychologists would continue to provide care in schools in and around Winnenden through the coming weeks.

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