The Erfurt massacre was a school massacre that occurred on April 26, 2002 at the Gutenberg-Gymnasium in the Thuringia State capital Erfurt, Germany.
The gunman, 19-year-old expelled student Robert Steinhäuser, shot and killed 16 people: 13 staff members, two students, and one police officer, before committing suicide. One person was also wounded by a bullet fragment. While the motive behind his killing spree is unknown, media reports assumed it to be related to Steinhäuser’s expulsion from school without qualifications and his subsequent feeling of victimhood and hopelessness regarding his future job opportunities.
On the day of the shooting, before leaving his residence at his usual time, Steinhäuser armed himself with a 9mm Glock 17 and a Mossberg 590 Mariner 12-gauge pump-action shotgun, which was unusable due to an earlier handling error. When he entered the campus, he went into the lavatories to change his clothes, and then donned a black ninja-style outfit. The shooting started at approximately 10:58 a.m. Steinhäuser had moved from classroom to classroom, pausing briefly each time in the doorway to shoot the teacher, then moving on to the next room. According to students, he ignored them and aimed only for the teachers and administrators, although two students were killed by shots fired through a locked door. Five minutes after the shooting began, police arrived outside the school. Soon after, Steinhäuser aimed from a window and fatally shot a police officer in the head. Before the shooter committed suicide, he was confronted by one of his teachers, Rainer Heise, who walked up to the demasking shooter. Pausing, having established eye-contact with Steinhäuser, he said, “Du kannst mich jetzt erschießen.” (“You can shoot me now.”), Steinhäuser is said to have answered, “Herr Heise, für heute reicht’s” (“Mr. Heise, that’s enough for today”). According to Heise, he then talked to Steinhäuser for a short period of time, luring him into the doorway of an empty room. When Steinhäuser was in the doorway, Heise pushed Steinhäuser into the room and quickly locked the door. Steinhäuser committed suicide shortly thereafter and his body was found by police a few hours after the shooting. 71 rounds were fired throughout the whole series of shootings.
The police had initially believed there was a second gunman, leading them to retake the school one floor at a time rather than storm the entire building.