Attack in Bremerhaven: crossbowman accused of attempted murder

On May 19, an armed man breaks into a Bremerhaven high school and critically injures a woman.

Attack in Bremerhaven: crossbowman accused of attempted murder

On May 19, an armed man breaks into a Bremerhaven high school and critically injures a woman. Pupils and teachers wait for hours in locked rooms. Now the 21-year-old has to answer for attempted murder before the Bremen district court.

It is around 9.15 a.m. on May 19, 2022 when an armed man breaks into a high school building in Bremerhaven. With shots from a crossbow, he seriously injures an employee. Starting this Thursday, the suspected shooter will have to answer to the Bremen Regional Court for attempted murder.

The public prosecutor's office accuses the former high school student of having acted out of base motives and insidiously. He asked his future victim where a former teacher of his was staying. However, the school staff did not tell him this, the district court said. The 21-year-old then shot the woman in the upper body with a crossbow. When she tried to flee, he is said to have shot her again from behind. The woman was critically injured. According to the indictment, she survived only through emergency surgery.

The defendant had several weapons with him: a professional crossbow loaded with steel bolts, a loaded blank pistol, a machete and a knife. After the shots were fired at the staff member, the school's contingency plan was triggered. The students and teachers locked themselves in the classrooms, where they stayed for around four hours until the police gave the all-clear. "I was terrified until just now," said a 16-year-old after leaving the building.

After the shots were fired at the school employees, the accused is said to have left the premises and fired his crossbow twice at a man at a nearby crossroads. The shots did not hit the victim. According to the indictment, the 21-year-old at least accepted the death of the man. Police arrested the suspect shortly after the attack. A video published by an eyewitness on social media and confirmed by the public prosecutor to be genuine shows the arrest.

The accused can be seen sitting apparently calmly at a busy intersection in front of a traffic light. The crossbow is next to him. When the police approached with blue lights flashing, he lay flat on the ground before the officers arrived.

The 21-year-old is now in a closed psychiatric facility. After the evidence has been taken, the court must clarify whether he is possibly less criminally responsible or not criminally responsible because of a psychiatric illness. Eight negotiation dates have been scheduled until the end of January 2023.

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