"A 21st century tragedy" Top 5 Page for this destination Erfurt Things to Do Tip by iandsmith

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The Erfurt massacre was a school shooting that occurred on April 26, 2002 at the Johann Gutenberg Gymnasium in Erfurt. 16 people were killed before the perpetrator committed suicide. The victims comprised 13 school staff, two students and one police officer.
The perpetrator was Robert Steinhäuser, who had been expelled a few months prior to the shootings for missing lessons and forging excuse notes. Steinhäuser had covered up his expulsion from his family and would leave home everyday with his parents under the impression he was going to school. In the shooting he used a 9mm Glock 17 and had a pump-action shotgun strapped onto his back, but never used it. He had a license for both firearms.
On the day of the shooting, Steinhäuser left home the same time he always did, and told his parents he had an exam. Steinhäuser got changed into a black ninja-style outfit in the lavatories of his school and started the shooting at approximately 11:00am.
He moved from classroom to classroom, pausing briefly each time in the doorway to shoot the teacher, then moving onto the next room. According to students, he ignored them and aimed only for the teachers, although two students were also killed, possibly unintentionally.
Five minutes after the shooting began, police began arriving on the scene. Soon after, Steinhäuser aimed from a window and shot a police officer in the head, killing him instantly. Before his suicide, he was confronted by one of his teachers, Rainer Heise, who was said to have stopped Steinhäuser with the words, "Pull the trigger! If you shoot me now, then look into my eyes!", Steinhäuser is said to have pulled off his mask and answered, "That's enough for today, Mr Heise!".
According to Mr Heise, he then talked to Steinhäuser for a short amount of time, luring him into the doorway of an empty room. When Steinhäuser was in the doorway, Heise pushed Steinhäuser into the room and quickly locked the door. Steinhäuser committed suicide shortly after and his body was found by police a few hours after the shooting.

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  • Updated May 29, 2007
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