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Germany school shooting injures one, suspect arrested

/ 07:31 PM May 19, 2022
Police are seen behind a cordoned-off area in front of the building of the Lloyd Gymnasium, a secondary school in Bremerhaven, northern Germany on May 19, 2022, after shots were fired at the school. - One person was injured on May 19 after shots were fired at the secondary school in the northern city of Bremerhaven, police said, adding that they had arrested the suspected gunman. The injured person was not a pupil, police said, and has been taken to hospital. (Photo by Sina Schuldt / dpa / AFP) / Germany OUT

Police are seen behind a cordoned-off area in front of the building of the Lloyd Gymnasium, a secondary school in Bremerhaven, northern Germany on May 19, 2022, after shots were fired at the school.  (Photo by Sina Schuldt / dpa / AFP) / Germany OUT

FRANKFURT — Shots were fired at a secondary 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 in the center of Bremerhaven.

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

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

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“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.

Germany’s online newspaper Nord24 said the person injured on Thursday was a woman who worked at the school.

Officers raced to the scene after a pupil called the police upon hearing gunfire, according to local media.

Bremerhaven police tweeted that a large deployment was under way in the centre of the port city, and asked residents to avoid the area in the vicinity of the Lloyd secondary school.

Snapchat tip-off

In a separate incident on Thursday, police in the eastern city of Leipzig said they had detained a 21-year-old student still at secondary school after being tipped off by Snapchat that he had posted pictures of himself with a gun and made unspecified threats.

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The US social media platform alerted German authorities, prompting Leipzig police to take action.

A police spokesman told AFP that the 21-year-old did not pose a real threat, however, and only possessed an airsoft gun, a replica firearm that uses non-lethal, usually plastic, pellets.

Last week, investigators in the city of Essen said they had foiled a school bomb assault after they arrested a 16-year-old who was 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 anti-Semitic 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 passers-by 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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