Heidelberg Shooting: 'Several' Injured in University Lecture Hall, Suspect Dead

Four people were injured, some seriously, after a shooter opened fire in a lecture hall at a university in western Germany on Monday, local police have said. The suspected shooter is dead.

The attack at the University of Heidelberg on Monday was launched by a single assailant, Mannheim police said on Twitter.

A man entered the lecture hall with "a long gun" at the university before shooting and injuring four people, Mannheim Police said in a statement. Some of the victims are seriously injured, the statement said.

The suspect then fled outside and turned the gun on himself, the newspaper Bild reported. The incident took place while a lecture was happening, Bild reported.

Large numbers of police forces and emergency workers were present at the scene in Neuenheimer Feld, where the natural science faculties and parts of the university hospital are mainly located. The area was cordoned off.

An initial statement by police said: "Large-scale deployment. Multiple injuries. Police and rescue workers with strong forces on site. We will keep you updated as soon as more details are known."

An updated police statement said: "A single perpetrator injured several people in a lecture hall with a long gun. The perpetrator himself is dead."

Police earlier asked people to avoid the Neuenheimer Feld area of Heidelberg, where the city's university is located, but gave the all clear at around 3 p.m. local time, Bild reported.

The German Press Agency reported that the perpetrator was a student at the university. Investigators said he had no political or religious motives, but carried several rifles with him.

A press conference is planned for Monday evening to update the public on the incident, Mannheim police told Newsweek. The motive of the attack is not yet known and police have not disclosed details as to how the attack happened and whether it was of terrorist intent.

"We are incredibly shocked. This is a catastrophe that eludes everything conceivable between lectures, exams and university life," said Peter Abelmann, chairman of the student body, Bild reported.

Mayor Eckart Würzner wrote on Facebook: "Today is a terrible day for all of us. The situation is currently opaque, so I ask you to follow the Mannheim police and their instructions and not to spread premature speculation and rumors."

Newsweek has contacted the university for comment.

Heidelberg is about 90 kilometers (56 miles) south of Frankfurt and has about 160,000 inhabitants. The town's university is one of the best known in Germany.

Germany has seen several attacks in recent years, mostly carried out by jihadists or far-right militants.

A mosque in Germany's Saxony-Anhalt province was targeted in an attack by assault rifles by a man who lived nearby, the Anadolu Agency reported on Monday.

Two people heard shots near the Islamic Cultural Center in Halle, according to a statement made by police, Anadolu Agency reported. The 55-year-old man who was firing at the mosque from his house nearby was arrested, and police reportedly confiscated two weapons found at his home.

"Thankfully nobody was injured," the Central Council of Muslims in Germany said, condemning the incident in a Twitter post. "Police are still investigating and interrogating. Anti-Muslim hatred and racism are not just in words."

University of Heidelberg police
Police officers walk with protective gear in the compound of the University of Heidelberg, southwestern Germany, after an attack by a lone perpetrator on January 24, 2022. A shooting in at the university ihas caused multiple injuries and one death, police said. Daniel Roland/AFP via Getty Images