Blacksburg, Erfurt, Littleton A Chronicle of the Worst Rampages Ever

The names Erfurt, Littleton and Dunblane stand for some of the bloodiest school shootings ever perpetrated. Blacksburg will now likely join that list. SPIEGEL ONLINE documents some of the worst shooting rampages in history.


February 12, 2007 : Ten people were killed during two shootings on the same day, one in Salt Lake City, Utah and one in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In Salt Lake City, the gunman opened fire in a shopping mall, killing five before he was shot and killed by the police. In Philadelphia, three men were killed at a business meeting before the gunman ultimately killed himself.

October 2, 2006 : In Lancaster County in Pennsylvania, 32-year-old truck driver Charles Carl Roberts IV barricaded himself in a one-room Amish school house before killing five schoolgirls execution-style before killing himself.

March 21, 2005 : At Red Lake Senior High School in Minnesota, 16-year-old student Jeff Weise opened fire, killing five fellow students, a teacher and a security guard. Prior to the rampage, he had shot his grandfather and his grandfather's girlfriend. It later became apparent that Weise had visited neo-Nazi Web sites prior to the shooting.

April 26, 2002 : At Gutenberg Gymnasium in Erfurt, Germany, 19-year-old Robert Steinhäuser killed 16 people and himself within just 10 minutes. Among the dead were 12 teachers, the school secretary, two students and a policeman. Steinhäuser had been expelled from the school one year prior to the attack.

March 27, 2002 : Thirty-three-year-old Richard Durn opened fire at a town hall in western Paris, calmly shooting at 40 people, killing eight of them. He committed suicide by jumping out of the fourth floor of police headquarters after he was captured.

September 26, 2001 : A 57-year-old attacker forced his way into the parliament of the Swiss canton Zug and opened fire. He killed 14 people before turning his gun on himself.

June 8, 2001 : Former janitor Mamoru Takuma rampaged through an elementary school in the Japanese city of Osaka. He stabbed eight children to death and wounded a number of others. He was sentenced to death and was hanged in September 2004.

April 20, 1999 : Two students stormed Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado and murdered 12 other students aged 14 to 18 as well as a teacher. A further 24 people were injured before the attackers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, killed themselves.

March 24, 1998 : In Jonesboro, Arkansas, four students and a teacher were killed when two middle school boys aged 13 and 11 set off the fire alarm. The two then began shooting at the evacuated students from the woods nearby. A further nine students and a teacher were wounded in the hail of bullets.

May 22, 1997 : In north-eastern Brazil, a former soldier killed 17 people. First he murdered his wife and mother-in-law before leaving his home and firing randomly at people on the streets. The reason for his attack appears to have been rumors about his apparent homosexuality.

April 28, 1996 : Thirty-five people were killed and a further 37 wounded when 28-year-old Martin Bryant went on a rampage in the town of Port Arthur on the island of Tasmania in Australia. Bryant opened fire in a café with an automatic weapon before moving to the neighboring gift shop and then the parking lot outside. It took hours before the police were able to capture the killer.

March 13, 1996 : In the deadliest attack on children in United Kingdom history, 43-year-old Thomas Hamilton opened fire in a school gymnasium, killing 16 five- and six-year-olds and one teacher in the Scottish town of Dunblane. Hamilton then committed suicide.

September 23-24, 1995: In the French town of Toulon, a 16-year-old student killed his step-father, his half-brother and his mother on the evening of Sept. 23. The next morning, he continued his rampage, killing a further 10 victims.

October 16, 1991 : George Hennard drove his pickup into Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas and opened fire on the guests inside. He killed 23 people and wounded 20 before eventually killing himself.

December 6, 1989 : Twenty-five-year-old Marc Lepine killed 14 women and wounded a further 13 people at the École Polytechnique at the University of Montreal in the worst school massacre in Canada's history. He then took his own life. In a letter he left behind, he indicated a hate for feminists as a motive for the shooting.

July 18; 1984: James Oliver Huberty, a 41-year-old welder, walked into a McDonald's in San Ysidro, California and opened fire with a 9-mm Uzi semi-automatic and other weapons. He killed 21 people and wounded 19 before being gunned down by the police.

August 1, 1966 : At the University of Texas at Austin, a student ascended a tower at the university and opened fire on people below. In all he killed 15 people, including his wife and mother the night before. He was shot dead by the police.

June 11, 1964 : In Volkhoven near Cologne, Germany, an army veteran stormed a school, killing eight children and stabbing two teachers to death.

May 18, 1927 : In the deadliest mass school murder in United States history, former school board member Andrew Kehoe set off three bombs in Bath Township, Michigan killing 45 people and wounding 58. Kehoe killed himself and the superintendent by blowing up his own vehicle.

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