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Former Student Takes 4 Hostage in Germany School


  Waiblingen, Germany 

   Friday - October 18 , 2002

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FRANKFURT, Germany: October 18, 2002 — A 16 year old disgruntled former student took four students hostage Friday around 3:00 p.m. at a school in southeastern Germany, police said.


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Disgruntled former student take 12 yr. old students hostage in Germany.

Disgruntled former student take 12 yr. old students hostage in Germany.

Police surrounded the Friedensschule, an elementary and high school in Waiblingen, near Stuttgart, where the disgruntled former student [Identifying the Potentially Dangerous Student]seized the hostages at about 3 p.m.


About 100 students were in the Friedensschule, or Peace School, when a 16-year-old former student walked in and sat down in a second-floor computer room around 2:30 p.m., witnesses and police said. Minutes later, he stood up and pulled out a handgun, they said.


The rest of the students and faculty were evacuated, police said.  Students said he warned them to remain calm and then gave a mobile phone number to a teacher. He sent her and all but four students out of the room and made them close the curtains before calling police.


``He said, 'If you don't keep quiet something will happen,''' said Marc, an 11-year-old student.


With no shots fired at this time. Students said the gunman was able to enter unnoticed [FREE Visitor Pass Policy] because it was fairly common for young people to sit down at unoccupied computers.


Police spokesman Thomas Keller described the hostage-taker as making ``a calm impression'' while talking with police. He demanded cash and a getaway vehicle during negotiations, Keller said.


The hostages were all sixth-graders, around 12 years old, he said.  Police said they hope to resolve the standoff at the grade 1-10 school just outside Stuttgart without violence.


In April, a 19-year-old former student killed himself and 16 other people in an attack inside a school in Erfurt, in eastern Germany. Thirteen of the dead were teachers. In the outrage that followed, parliament passed a bill in June to tighten German gun laws.


Former Student Frees Last 2 Hostages
WAIBLINGEN, Germany, Oct. 18, 2002

Atanasios Gianzios walks with his father and mother after being released by a teenage gunman.

Atanasios Gianzios walks with his father and mother after being released by a teenage gunman.

A 16 year old former student took four youngsters hostage Friday at a school in southwestern Germany laid down his weapon and surrendered after letting all the hostages go unharmed, police said.

The six-hour standoff at the school in Waiblingen, 3 miles northeast of Stuttgart, ended at around 9:20 p.m. local time a police spokesman said.

The hostage-taker had told police by cell phone he wanted a million euros (US$) and a getaway car, police said, but any further motive for his actions wasn't clear.

After about five hours into the incident, he released two of the hostages, then let the other two go about an hour later and was taken into custody.

Once again we ask ourselves, "Have we done all that we can to insure the safety of our schools?" Keys To Safer is making a special offer to any school to review your crisis planning and provide a written critique of any shortcomings found. To take advantage of this offer, mail your school’s Crisis Plan and supporting documents to:

Keys To Safer
P.O. Box 296
Bryant, AR 72089-0296.

Visit the Keys website for valuable information and resource material on school violence prevention at

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Reported By:
Mike Nelson
Keys To Safer

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