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Germany shooting: Gunman dead after killing 1, injuring 3 at Heidelberg University, police confirm

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By Euronews
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Police vehicles are parked on the grounds of Heidelberg University in Heidelberg, Germany, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022
Police vehicles are parked on the grounds of Heidelberg University in Heidelberg, Germany, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022   -   Copyright  Credit: AP

A gunman is dead after killing one and injuring three others in a lecture hall at Heidelberg University in southwestern Germany.

The 18-year-old suspected gunman, a German citizen with no known police record, was a biology student at the university, said Siegfried Kollmar, the regional chief of police said at a press conference on Monday evening.

Police identified the woman who was killed as a 23-year-old German. Those who suffered minor wounds were two German women and a German-Italian man.

Mannheim Police -- who sent in what they described as "strong forces" of more than 400 officers -- asked people on Twitter to avoid the Neuenheimer Feld area of Heidelberg, where the city’s university campus is located. 

The warning was lifted after the police issued an update stating that there was no present danger at the site.

"It is assumed the perpetrator was a lone wolf," the authorities stated on Twitter.

The university’s press office declined to give any details on the shooting and referred all inquiries to police.

German news agency DPA reported that security officials say initial indications are that the attack was not politically or religiously motivated.

The precise motive for the attack was still being investigated, but the suspect was known to have suffered from a psychological illness in the past, Kolmar added. 

The suspect sent a phone message to his father shortly before the shooting mentioned that “people will be punished," Kollmar told reporters.

His body was found outside by officers along with two firearms he had recently acquired abroad and about 100 rounds of ammunition, he said.

Police spokesman Stefan Wilhelm told regional broadcaster SWR that the suspect killed himself.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed dismay over the shooting.

“It's been reported that one student has died of her injuries in the meantime," he said.

“It tears my heart apart to learn of such news,” Scholz said, expressing his condolences to relatives, victims and students at the university.

Interior minister Nancy Faeser thanked the emergency services and those who came to help those affected, expressing her "shock and horror" at the event.

Heidelberg, situated south of Frankfurt, has about 160,000 inhabitants. Its university is one of Germany's best-known.