Archive for September 21st, 2009

September 21, 2009

“Apocalypse Today”: Update on the German school attack in Ansbach

Would-be school assassin Georg R.

Would-be school assassin Georg R.

LAST THURSDAY I PUBLISHED an article in this space on a particularly vicious school attack that had just occurred in the picturesque Bavarian town of Ansbach. Eighteen year-old Georg R. entered his high school at 8:30 that morning  carrying an axe, Molotov cocktails, and knives, and began a systematic attack on his fellow students before being stopped by police. Since then, new information has come to light and it is gradually becoming possible to reconstruct the crime and identify the perpetrator’s motives.

It turns out that Georg was much more heavily armed than previously believed. According to state prosecutor Gudrun Lehnberger, the young man had equipped himself with a total of five Molotov cocktails, four of which he lit during the attack. He had three regular fixed-blade knives and one butterfly knife strapped to his waist. His axe had a sixteen inch-long handle. Upon entering the building, Georg began walking down the corridor, lobbing the Molotov cocktails into classrooms and attacking everyone in his way with the knives and axe. He injured a total of ten persons: nine students and one teacher. One girl underwent a seven hour-long operation in a Nuremberg clinic for axe wounds to the head. She is now out of danger.

Overall, it seems as if the response by both the school and the Ansbach police was exemplary. One of the students, a volunteer fireman, reported the attack the moment it began via Twitter and immediately extinguished one of the blazes. Students and teachers provided first aid to the injured until the emergency services could take over. Local police were on the scene in record time. Nevertheless, the Bavarian police are demanding an early warning system for the state’s school system so that such attacks can be halted even earlier – and, ideally, prevented in the first place. …