German police deny any negligence in attempts to thwart school massacre in Cologne

19th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

19 November 2007, Cologne, Germany (dpa) - German police rejected Monday accusations that they had let a troubled teenager kill himself after thwarting his plot to massacre schoolmates. The boy's school in the western city of Cologne was meanwhile coming to terms with the discovery that 17-year-old Rolf B had planned to invade the school on Tuesday with a crossbow and two non- lethal airguns. Schoolmates noticed last week that B had posted pictures on the internet of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre

19 November 2007

Cologne, Germany (dpa) - German police rejected Monday accusations that they had let a troubled teenager kill himself after thwarting his plot to massacre schoolmates.

The boy's school in the western city of Cologne was meanwhile coming to terms with the discovery that 17-year-old Rolf B had planned to invade the school on Tuesday with a crossbow and two non- lethal airguns.

Schoolmates noticed last week that B had posted pictures on the internet of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in the United States, in which two youths killed 13 people and themselves.

Two police confronted B in the principal's office on Friday. While walking home he threw himself under a tram.

Police rejected charges that a morbid interest in the Columbine case was a warning signal that a teen was planning suicide and to "take others with him."

A police spokesman said B had assured the two officers that he wanted to prevent any repeat of Columbine and would take the pictures off the web. He did not seem suicidal.

"We went by the book," the spokesman said.

It was only after his death that a second pupil, 18, disclosed the plan and that the weapons and a list of 17 schoolmates and teachers were found.

Students were given the day off at Georg Buechner high school Monday while teachers discussed their response.

"We need time to recover," principal Beatrix Goertner said. She described B as having been well-behaved and sociable, while the second pupil "wore black" and was introverted.

Tuesday appeared to have been chosen because it was the first anniversary of a school shooting in Emsdetten, Germany, where an armed 18-year-old youth injured 37 people at his former school before taking his own life.

Georg Moenikes, the mayor of Emsdetten, said the repercussions of the attack were still being felt, with some pupils and teachers still receiving psychological counselling.

DPA

Subject: German news

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