Tim Kretschmer, the German teenager whose shooting rampage left 16 people dead earlier today, was a fan of the first-person shooter Counter-Strike, according to an early report from the Associated Press:
A 17-year-old who would give only his first name, Aki, said he had been studying this year with the shooter at a private business school, and described him as a quiet, reserved person.
Aki said the two played poker together, both in person and online, as well as a multiplayer video game called "Counter-Strike" that involves killing people to complete missions.
"He was good," Aki said.
Meanwhile, UK newspaper Telegraph reports that Kretschmer was experienced with weapons:
A former classmate said… "The only thing which stands out is that Tim was always very good with weapons. He mainly shot air weapons firing plastic balls, but the house had several gun cabinets occupying square metres of walls, mainly air guns."
"He was a pretty good shooter. He used to shoot in a forest behind his house. Sometimes we’d have air gun battles in the summer."
Another student told the AP that Kretschmer seemed troubled:
Sabienne Boehm, 12, said she recently met the shooter through a friend, and that he had shown her a note three weeks ago that he then sent to his parents.
"He wrote to his parents that he’s suffering and he can’t go on," she said.
GP: Video game violence is an ongoing topic of discussion among German political officials. Today’s events will almost certainly spur additional debate on the topic.