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German police say one killed and three injured in rare campus shooting

Police stand by a vehicle on the campus of Heidelberg University in Heidelberg, Germany, on Jan. 24. (R. Priebe/Pr-Video/DPA/AP)

BERLIN — German police on Monday said one person was killed and three others were injured in a rare campus shooting in the university town of Heidelberg in the country’s southwest.

The gunman, an 18-year-old student, opened fire in a lecture hall where about 30 people had gathered for a biology tutorial, local police chief Siegfried Kollmar said.

Four students were injured, with one later succumbing to her wounds. The gunman died after turning the weapon on himself, Kollmar said at a news conference.

“It breaks my heart,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said of the shooting.

Authorities said they believe the perpetrator acted alone but that his motives remain unclear. He opened fire with a “long gun,” police said, and had a second firearm with him — along with more than 100 rounds of ammunition.

According to Kollmar, the gunman had sent a text message before the shooting saying he wanted to “punish some people.” He added that he wanted to be buried at sea.

Police had earlier warned people to stay away from the campus as authorities launched a “large scale” response to the shooting, but later said in a statement that there was no longer any danger to the public.

Heidelberg University, established in the 14th century, is the oldest in Germany. The country has strict gun-control laws, and school shootings are extremely rare. The perpetrator is believed to have purchased his weapons abroad, security officials said.