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Candles and flowers in front of the entrance of the Waldbachschule: mourning for a classmate

Photo: Philipp von Ditfurth / dpa

It was not an easy moment for him and his colleagues, said the head of the Offenburg police headquarters, Jürgen Rieger, on Tuesday in front of journalists and cameras. "Because the sympathy for this act naturally lies with the young people, the family and the students of the affected school."

But the investigators still want to make a statement, five days after a 15-year-old is said to have shot his classmate of the same age in a classroom of the Offenburg Waldbach School. Answers to the most important questions.

How did the crime go?

According to investigators, the suspect was called in sick at the school on Wednesday. On Thursday, he went to his classroom on the second floor, where nine young people and two teachers were staying at the time.

He shot the victim, a classmate, twice in the head at close range. Then he tried to ignite a homemade Molotov cocktail. But that failed. He had left the classroom.

One teacher took care of the seriously injured man, the other took the class to an adjoining room. The teachers locked the doors.

In the hallway, the suspect met another teacher and hit her on the head. Then he kicked the locked door of the classroom and shot at it. Whether there were further shots is still being investigated.

In the stairwell, the suspect then met the headmistress. He threw the Molotov cocktail in her direction. This was broken. On the way to the exit, the suspect met the father of other students, who happened to be present. The man "vehemently" asked him to put the gun away, which the alleged shooter did. The father then held him until the police arrived.

What is known about the motif?

According to the investigators, the teenager has not yet said anything about the allegations. The motive is unclear. However, it must always be assumed that there is a "multi-causal motive" that is influenced by external circumstances as well as by the psyche of the suspect, according to the prosecutors.

Since this is a juvenile criminal case, the investigators could not give any further details. However, a prosecutor said that handwritten notes had been found, sketches with plans and names.

What punishment does the juvenile face?

The teenager is in custody on suspicion of manslaughter. If the suspicion is confirmed, there is a maximum prison sentence of ten years in juvenile criminal law, according to the prosecutors.

The parents are also being investigated, including for negligent homicide. The murder weapon is said to have come from the domestic environment. It is a semi-automatic self-loading weapon from the Beretta company. Exactly where the gun came from and how long it was in the family's possession is unclear, officials said. Both parents were not in possession of a gun possession permit. Therefore, there is also the initial suspicion of a violation of the duty of care in the handling of weapons and a possible violation of the duty of supervision.

Investigations are also being carried out on the question of whether the 15-year-old had accomplices. Until the incident, the teenager had been inconspicuous, according to investigators. Contrary to other media reports, the suspect is a German.

What is the peculiarity of the procedure?

The procedure under juvenile criminal law is subject to strict rules. For example, there are guidelines for the information policy of the investigators. Should the teenager comment, nothing will be announced, according to the investigators.

In addition, it must also be checked in the case of a 15-year-old whether he had enough maturity to be able to see the crime. This is especially true in the case of such a serious accusation. According to the public prosecutor's office, this is now to be clarified by an expert. The latter is also to investigate whether the suspect was in a "psychopathological state" at the time of the crime. In Germany, young people from the age of 14 are of criminal age.

What's next for the Waldbachschule?

According to the authorities, it is also planned for the next few days to have the students picked up in front of the school by their class teachers and accompany them to the classrooms. School psychologists are on site, there are currently no regular operations.

However, there will be more and more classes again, said Werner Nagel from the Freiburg Regional Council. However, it is still true that the school community mourns the loss of a classmate. Baden-Württemberg's Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) is to inform the interior committee of the state parliament about the investigations on Wednesday.