The planned shooting by two teenagers at the school was due to take place on Tuesday, the first anniversary of a school shooting in the German town of Emsdetten,, and two weeks after a Finnish student killed nine including himselfat a high school in Finland.
Police questioned one of the would-be attackers, a 17-year-old student named only as Rolf B., about the Columbine photos last Friday. He had said he was only trying prevent a repeat of the April 1999 massacre of 12 students and one teacher in the US state of Colarado, and agreed to remove the photos from his school's student Web forum. He then committed suicide on his way home by throwing himself under a tram.
Rolf B. had planned to go on a rampage with a fellow student, 18-year-old Robin G. Police searched Robin G.'s flat and found two crossbows with 16 darts, a number of air guns which fire pneumatic projectiles using compressed air, instructions for making petrol bombs and pipe bombs and a list of 17 names of teachers and pupils at the school.
According to media reports, Robin G. told police: "We wanted to cause injuries and kill people and then we wanted to kill ourselves." Cologne newspaper Express quoted a student who recalls Robin G. asking him several weeks ago: "Can you get me a gun?"
Police spokesman Norbert Wagner said Robin G. fitted the profile of a school shooter. "A loner. He has problems at school, difficulties with fellow pupils, he feels harassed," Wagner told reporters. He is due to be remanded in custody on Monday.
Fellow students said Rolf B., the teenager who killed himself after being questioned by police, was also a loner, although police said they regarded him as "inconspicuous." The Cologne police has been criticized for letting him go home unaccompanied after they questioned him.
The Georg-Büchner school will remain closed for a day on Monday as teachers discuss how to deal with the situation.
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