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School shooter posted his plan before attack

THE 17-year-old gunman who went on a rampage at his former school and killed 15 people before taking his own life warned of his plans in an Internet chat room only hours before, officials in Germany said yesterday.

Suspect "Tim K." told others in the chat room that he was "sick of this life" and planned to attack his school in Winnenden, Baden Wuerttemburg state, Interior Minister Heribert Rech said.

Rech said the suspect wrote, "You will hear from me tomorrow, remember the name of a place called Winnenden."

In the first indication of a motive in the shooting, Rech said the teenager told others in the German-language chat room that: "Everyone laughs at me, nobody recognizes my potential."

"I'm serious, I have a weapon here," Rech said the youth wrote. "Tomorrow I will go to my school."

Rech said that the chat had occurred the night before the attack, but a police official, Erwin Hetger, later said it was in the early morning on Wednesday, about six hours before the shooting.

Despite the high death toll, the shooting could have been worse if the principal of the high school had not been able to warn teachers with a prearranged code over the public address system when the suspect burst into the school and began firing.

Local media have identified the gunman as Tim Kretschmer and the name on his parent's home was Kretschmer.

After he escaped from the school on Wednesday, he hijacked a car and was eventually caught in a police shootout. The rampage ended with 15 victims slain and the assailant taking his own life, authorities said.

The high school was closed yesterday, still cordoned off by red and white police tape as investigators pored through the building.

Scores of candles lit by mourners adorned the grounds amid bunches of flowers and notes with messages and questions like "Why?"

Injured student Patrick S., 15, was quoted by Bild newspaper as saying Kretschmer burst into his German class at about 9:30am.

"We flipped over the desks to duck behind for cover. ... Suddenly I saw that I was hit ?? in the back, in the arm and in the cheek," he was quoted as saying.

"Suddenly he was gone and we barricaded the door. And then I saw my classmate Chantal. She sat at the door. Dead."

A local police spokesman said authorities had found 60 shell casings in the school.

Friends and acquaintances described Kretschmer as a loner who liked guns and violent video games.

The teen apparently took the weapon from his father's collection of 15 firearms along with a "multitude of ammunition," police said.


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