Report: German Rampage Shooter Was a Counter-Strike Player

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.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. Athoron says:

    Just now they´ve said that it could be possible, that Tim has NOT confirmed his actions on an online-chat the night before. It´s said that it was some other guy which faked the chatlog or something. Now german police is asking US-police for help since the server stands somewhere in the USA.

  2. Yellowchposticks says:

    I was a Counter-Strike player too, but I’m a fairly weak nerd.  Using a gun would probably only hurt myself.  Perhaps it was this guy’s access and experience with guns that made it so deadly.  Who knows, just a thought.

    You know, now that I think about it…Super Mario Bros. was a pretty violent game too, with lots of dangerous behavior.  Advocating killing by jumping on your enemies of all things.  Drug use what with eating strange mushrooms and flowers.  Animal cruelty kicking around turtles and stuff.  Destruction of property like brickwork and bridges.  Pyromania.  Giving incentives for other behaviors like exploring strange sewer pipes, and jumping on top of cannon shells.  I think these are much easier for me to imitate, weeee.

  3. Afirejar says:

    I always get the impression, that people just don’t realize how far gone the World Wars are. If someone really wants to hold something against me that happend while my grandparents were in kindergarten and before any members of the current government were born, then let them. I’m not the one, that’s going to look stupid for it.

  4. mr_mlk says:

    The Times, 2009-03-12, page 6 (just reports he plays poker "a video game called Counter-Strike that involves killing people to complete missions." & Daily Mirror 2009-03-12, page10. "Counter-Strike that involves killing people".

    The Daily Mail (the people who I would had though would be foaming about video games) have not picked up on it (yet).

    — Add a marker to the start of your signature.

  5. Michael Chandra says:

    And the Romans prosecuted the Christians that refused to pay for having an extra religion, while they now house the Vatican. Nobody talks about that. The World Wars history shouldn’t be used against countries anymore.

  6. Praetorian says:

    Wow…he played counter strike…whoopie.

    I know they will twist it around and make it sound like it was the games fault though.

    I just think it’s funny that the country that’s so against video game violence was once in a war where they exterminated people based on their religion.


    "I’ve been told I’m the resident skeptic, but I wouldn’t believe that."

  7. Afirejar says:

    Wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t delete it himself. After the online handle of the Emsdetten shooter became known, almost all Google results for his nickname went dead within a day as everyone cleansed their sites because they didn’t want to be connected to him. (That one psychological site, where he asked about his desire to kill everyone a year before the shooting, was especially fast.)

  8. Geoff says:

    I’m going to play nothing but Peggle and World of Goo.  Let’s see’m wrap their heads around that.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  9. Geoff says:

    And you’re surprised by this? It involves Germany, which instantly raises the chance of the topic being Godwinned by about 75%.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  10. Michael Chandra says:

    So right now there’s talk about a press conference this afternoon since the cops seem to be closing in on the motive, and there’s a good chance the dad will be prosecuted for negligence. Glad to see the actual officials are still looking at this properly.

    As for the one who commented 15 dead instead of 16, that’s because initial reports said he killed a boy at the school next to nine girls, now the reports just say nine students, three female teachers, an employee of a nearby psychiatric center, two employees of a car dealer.

  11. Vordus says:

    If I ever finally crack and go on a shooting spree, I’m going to play Beautiful Katamari Damacy for the entire morning beforehand, just to see what the heck newspapers would do with a snippet like that.

  12. Nocturne says:

    I blame the table tennis

    "Mr Weiss says playing table tennis was Kretschmer’s only hobby and that he took it very seriously"

    "Whenever a new ranking was published, he’d learn the names of the top 40 players by heart."

    "The coach lost contact with Kretschmer when he switched to a nearby club. "But I know he played a league game just this past Sunday," Mr Weiss says."


    It’s about a logical reason as blaming a video game

  13. Aprincen says:

    At least they can’t claim Counterstrike trained him or gave him the skills to handle a weapon.

  14. Father Time says:

    He had acsess to guns but that still doesn’t explain why he chose to use them.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  15. Azhrarn says:

    load up CS from europe and check the server list, easily half the servers are in germany and they’re generally quite full. The game is very popular there, that doesn’t mean most of Germany’s youths are shootings waiting to happen.

    My guess is that a combination of harassment (he was a loner, these people are always popular targets for bullying) and easy acces to weaponry at his home.
    There’s a reason he didn’t just shoot himself, but went to his school and shot a number of people instead, he was most likely targetting those who he felt wronged or bullied him.

  16. Tammej says:

    Quite seriously though, this does spur on the old debate again. 


    We can safely assume that the laws for selling specific genres of games will be tightened, or at the very least the attempt to do that will be made. There is barely any opposition to be expected, coming from experienced and able politicians, because there simply aren’t that many gamers among them just yet.

    In ten or twenty years when Germans look back at this, they’ll probably be very unhappy with laws built around the video game industry that were made these past years.


    I would, (if you absolutely must blame something), blame ‘easy access to guns’. But even if there hadn’t been any guns, he might have done this a bit later when he got himself one through other means. I wouldn’t blame the parents. Kids are not stupid. If they want to hide something from their parents, they always can, and they always have. I wouldn’t blame any of the shooters the Kid played. It might have had some influence, but only the "Guns are cool" kind of influence, not to be confused with the "Shooting people is cool" kind of influence, capiche? Besides, "Guns are cool" is pretty much the norm in the US, and video games still get the blame there as well. The kid alone is at fault here. And I don’t even think he’s a total nutcase either. Most of these shooting-kids weren’t. They simply couldn’t deal with the world as it is, found no relief, no refuge, no way out, and probably no friends that they could entrust their worries with. At some point they will likely bubble up hatred through the envy they feel when they watch other people live in this world, looking happy.



  17. Jeramii says:

    so out of my own personal wondering, i looked up his name on myspace.

    i found someone who’s display picture was of guns, and when you click

    on the profile the profile was deleted. it said invalid membership, which

    means he deleted it in the last 48 hours. (it said he is from germany

    and he is 18 years old, lots of people round up on myspace.)


    Utah- Male- 20- Owner of PS3, Wii, 360.

  18. Luvian says:

    All these attempted links between crimes and video games are getting old.

    These days the majority of teens and young adults play or have played video games. You could point at any young criminal and chances are he played video games. Well guess what… He may be smoking too, or drinking. Does that means tobacco is responsible for causing these crimes? And most young people go to school too. Does that mean school causes these crimes?

  19. Athoron says:

    Actually…the only source which said that this guy played videogames was the local radio-station "Antenne Bayern", a bavarian radio-station which always crys about videogames. Lot of the other news-reports are building up on this one.

    I´ve also already seen a lot of other news where friends of this guy say that he DIDN´T play videogames at all.

    Let´s see how this one goes on ;- )

  20. Weatherlight says:

    Believe it or not when I was at the Uni (University), I took classes with people as old as 28 and people as young as 14 in the same class. Its not that uncommon to have a wider age spread due to their school system.

    You just have to watch out that you don’t pick up one of those 14 year olds at one of the parties near the Uni. Gotta wait until they are at least 16.


  21. Weatherlight says:

    Counterstrike Source was on the top 10 sellers list of all games at Karstadt the entire year I was over there in 2007-2008 and as you have shown it is still very popular.


  22. SbEguy says:

    here we go…one of Norway’s biggest tabloids has published an article with the headline: "Tim spent alot of time at home playing Counter-strike"

    The first half of the article is about how he played CS and "was good at it", and describes the game’s main goal as "kill as many enemies as possible", and then delves into the apparently less attractive headline stuff about how people described him as normal, friendly, but introverted

  23. Ma2ReeD says:

    First off, only 15 people died according to the Associated press article.

    With that out of the way, I can say that this just plain sucks, no matter who you are.

  24. Waffles says:

    "Private Business School…"

    Note to parents saying saying hes "suffering and can’t go on"?

    I’m more ready to point the finger at school stress than any game. Lord how bad THAT can get 🙁

  25. Mattie says:

    All this does for me is show how spineless the video game industry is. Why are they sitting back and doing nothing when people slander them? It’ll happen just like any other time a school shooting happens.

  26. Doom90885 says:

    All the outrage over getting rid of murder simulators….. No outrage over the murder weapons…..I so wish somebody would rub that in these people’s faces so their case can fall apart instantly.

  27. Afirejar says:

    Well, there’s two sides to that:
    On the one hand, for most non-gamers Counterstrike is the only game they know, thanks to its popularity and history as a scapegoat. They can’t blame anything else because they don’t know anything else.

    On the other hand, Counterstrike is still quite popular. It’s one of the few games everyone can agree to play at every LAN partie I’ve ever been to. It still pops up on sales charts regularly. Go to, browse to first person shooters, sort by best sellers, and see what pops up at the top (and what’s number 7):
    It may be old, but that doesn’t say much.

  28. Afirejar says:

    Absolutely right. Games aren’t a topic of ongoing discussions because there are no discussions – just recurring witch hunts.

  29. Canary Wundaboy says:

    You know, I want it on record with all you guys here, if I ever go on a school shooting, and someone tries to link me with Counterstrike, I have never played it, not once.

    Just ignore my Gears of War ranking, and my love of Halo, GTA etc. I didn’t play CS. It’s ok.

    Bloody annoyed that games are gonna get the sharp end of this AGAIN.


    Check out my blog –

  30. MechaTama31 says:

    Spur debate?  Not likely.  I’m sure it will spur more baseless vitriol against gamers and their "killerspiel".

  31. Afirejar says:

    Great. Now I have to track down the report, that led me to proclaim in the shoutbox, that he wasn’t into videogames a few hours ago.

  32. Krono says:

    Well, a quick check of wikipedia says:

    June 12, 1999 (1999-06-12) (Mod)
    November 8, 2000 (Retail)
    March 25, 2004 (Xbox

    So it’s basically pushing 10 years old at this point.


  33. SbEguy says:

    Or more likely, public burning of gamers as a safety measure. because y’know, they all snap sooner or later, right?

  34. JDKJ says:

    LOL!! That’s a good one! Very Michael Moore-ish. And you have a good point. Pairs of aces and eights ain’t called the Dead Man’s Hand for nothing.

  35. nighstalker160 says:

    You gotta love the immediate jumpting to CounterStrike. How OLD is CounterStrike at this point? I remember playing it back in High School and that 7 years ago now.

    I mean come on you SURE he was playing CounterStrike and not some more modern game? 

    CounterStrike is definitely the boogie man of FPS to these people. "What a shooting by a youth, he’s a COUNTERSTRIKE player!"

    Fine, if we take CounterStrike off the market will you people GO AWAY!? Clearly CS is the sole cause of all these problems.

  36. Lazier Than Thou says:

    I think we’re all missing the big picture here.  Sure, this guy may have played Counter-Strike, but the biggest danger of all hasn’t been discussed here.

    He played poker.

    Now, I’m no expert(though I play one on the internet), but I have to say that of all the research I’ve done(watched a few westerns late at night) I can tell you that there isn’t a single thing more violent then watching a poker game.  It’s like all you’re doing is waiting for the fight to break out.  The cards or chips don’t actually have any significance.  All they’re doing is trying to get each other angry so they have a reason to start shooting.  And shooting they do!

    I’m afraid the biggest culprit in this whole charade is actually those dastardly playing cards and evil chips.  Who knows how many familys this horrible "sport" has laid to waste?

  37. JDKJ says:

    Because it’s easier to make up crap about (1) and (2) that sounds plausible than it is to do so for (3).

  38. gamadaya says:

    I think you just put them in the right order.


    Internet troll > internet paladin

  39. JDKJ says:

    It’ll be interesting to see which one of three factors gets the most attention: (1) Counter-Strike fan, (2) air gun fan, or (3) questionable mental health.

  40. Michael Chandra says:

    They had a bunch of guns at the house, his dad often practiced and he was a frequent guest at the shooting range, getting rounds off himself…

  41. Amolloy says:

    Dennis there is so many reports from the UK side of the news that his family were members of a gun range and had many guns at the home.  While he might of played Counter Strike making the relation from CS to his shooting would be way off based coming from the fact the family was such a fan of guns and part of a gun club.

  42. BrandonL337 says:

    Source I must have source give me source or be damned to the Spanish inquisition

    There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can’t do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

  43. Afirejar says:

    Which one? Better ask which one didn’t. After the Erfurt shooting in 2002, this was in most German papers. It was everywhere, from tabloids like the BILD and the LaRouche propaganda paper ‘Neue Solidarität’ to reputable newspapers like the FAZ.

    Oh, and ‘grounds for a lawsuit’? Nothing happend. Absolutely nothing. Just another symptom of the much lamented ‘sorry state of the industry’.


    Edit: Well, to be fair, they didn’t write about raping schoolgirls, just shooting them.

  44. mr_mlk says:

    And the paper is? (It is not a UK national in the last ~30 days)


    — Add a marker to the start of your signature.

  45. Father Time says:

    which one? That’s grounds for a lawsuit if that were real.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  46. TK n Happy Ness says:

    They won’t since he’s now a harmless old man with no career. Previous times, he was a fucked-up attorney.

    When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

  47. PHX Corp says:

    If it happens, I wont hesitate in making fun of him(By photoshoping his picture)

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  48. Father Time says:

    " I even meet a guy who had it installed on a flash drive."

    At my high school nearly everyone who spent their lunch in the computer lab had counter-strike on their flash drive, that and Starcraft (this coming from a college freshman).


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  49. Vake Xeacons says:

     Here we go again (siiiiiighhhhhh)…

    I’d like to say something about the true content of Counter-Stike (just shooting people? Puh-lease), but here, I’m just preaching to the choir. I think this is another good chance to stand up for our rights!

  50. Unruly says:

    Battlefield 2’s Project Reality mod comes to mind very quickly, as do games like Operation Flashpoint and the Rainbow Six series, all of which portray weapon damages and recoil better than CS and Jack’s other favorite targets.

  51. gamadaya says:

    No, it’s by far his most quoted "murder simulator", even though there are plently of other games (like CS) that are much more realistic.


    Internet troll > internet paladin

  52. JDKJ says:

    And think the GTA series gets tangentially caught up in his "I’m going to crush Strauss Zelnick and Take2" threats but isn’t so often the subject of a "The shooter obviously trained on [Game X]" accusation. 

  53. gamadaya says:

    I’m just waiting for the day that angry german kid goes on a murder rampage.


    Internet troll > internet paladin

  54. Conejo says:

    why can’t we blame his homicidal murders on BEING GERMAN?

    i mean, we do have direct links to Germans going out and murdering the crap out of a whole bunch of people…

    just sayin’

    Here are we — and yonder yawns the universe.

  55. Weatherlight says:

    Believe it or not counterstrike is very popular over there. I believe it is because of the frequent use of cybercafes and school computers, because counterstrike can run on just about any machine. I even meet a guy who had it installed on a flash drive. While it may be a scapegoat here just about everyone who has played an FPS has played counterstrike.

    Now if only they would play CS:S and not 1.4 I would be happy 😀


  56. hellfire7885 says:

    More like "We haven o idea why he did it…. quick, blame something popular among outcasts!!!"

  57. Avalongod says:

    Yeah…what is it with Counterstrike?  That alone makes me suspicious.  Counterstrike got immediate blame in 2 previous cases…Virginia Tech, where it was found that Cho didn’t play games at all, and NIU where no evidence has yet been released one way or another about whether he was a significant gamer.

    It seems almost like blaming "Counterstrike" is code for "What I’m saying is total bullshit…"

  58. tacc says:

    It’s still better than "Counter-Strike is a game where the player has to kill grandmothers and rape schoolgirls". No, I’ts not a joke. A newspaper really reported that.

  59. CyberSkull says:

    …as well as a multiplayer video game called "Counter-Strike" that involves killing people to complete missions.

    That is probably the grossest oversimplification of any game I have ever heard outside of the Encyclopedia Britanica

  60. hellfire7885 says:

    That was actually staged.


    Though I am surprised anti-game crusaders don’t have that video favorited and bring it up every time they appear on TV or at conferences and hearings.

  61. hellfire7885 says:

    Counter Strike, Grand Theft Auto, Manhunt, Bully, Doom, and at least twice Halo.

    I know he blamed Halo for the Beltway sniper’s actions, and he once stated he was going so stop Halo 3’s release, less than a week before the event.

    He likely doesn’t know what kidn of hell he cancatch IF he is ever successful in stopping a game release, and is likely counting on it.

  62. PHX Corp says:

    I think it’s related to the economy in Germany

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  63. Monolith says:

    Of course it couldn’t have been the fact he was clearly disturbed in the head that caused him to do this. It must have been that thing he liked to do, that thing that millions of other teens who haven’t murdered anyone like to do, it must have been them damn vidja games.

Comments are closed.