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One woman was killed and three people were injured in a shooting at Heidelberg University on Monday.

Police said at a news conference Monday night that a man entered a university lecture hall with a double-barreled shotgun and another firearm as a class was running and opened fire.

Four people were injured. A 23-year-old woman died several hours later at the hospital, the other victims suffered injuries to their faces, backs and legs, police said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was shocked by the shooting.

“That student has died from her injuries… It breaks my heart to hear such news,” Scholz said.

What happened during the shooting?

Police in the southwestern German city said they received several emergency calls shortly after 12:20 p.m. They were able to respond quickly and were on the scene within minutes. More than 400 police officers participated in the subsequent investigation.

It was quickly determined that the shooter had acted alone and that there was no further danger to the public.

The shooter was identified as an 18-year-old biology student, who pointed the gun to himself after the shooting. Police said the suspect was found dead.

Police said they found a backpack belonging to the shooter that contained a large amount of ammunition.

Police investigate near the scene of Monday’s shooting in Heidelberg

Shooter unknown to police

Police did not disclose any motive and the suspect’s background and how he acquired the weapons are being investigated.

According to a preliminary investigation, the weapons were not licensed and appeared to have been purchased abroad.

Police said the shooter was able to purchase the guns without a gun license and that investigators found proof of a gun purchase.

Police said the shooter was not known to police and lived alone in nearby Mannheim.

The man had reportedly sent a WhatsApp message to his father shortly before the incident, saying unspecified people would be “punished”.

How have people reacted?

“My thoughts are with the victims, their relatives and, of course, the students of Heidelberg University,” said Chancellor Scholz.

Heidelberg Mayor Eckart Würzner said it was “hard to believe” that a shooting like this could happen in the city, which lies south of Frankfurt and has a population of around 130,000.

The University of Heidelberg is the oldest in Germany and has more than 30,000 students.

Baden Würtemberg’s deputy interior minister, Thomas Strobl, said the global scientific community was watching Monday’s events with “shock and empathy”.

wmr / msh (dpa, AFP)

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