Student killed in Hungary school shooting

Friday, November 27, 2009

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BUDAPEST, Hungary (AFP) - A student at a university in southern Hungary opened fire on his classmates yesterday, killing one person and wounding three, the university said.

A first-year male student was killed in the shooting, which took place shortly before midday at the Scientific University of Pecs. Two students and a cleaning lady were wounded, two of them seriously.

"The students at the biophysics research institute were in a pharmacy class when one of their colleagues began shooting," university spokesman Zoltan Gyorffy said.
Police said the 23-year-old then fled to a clinic in a neighbouring building, from where he telephoned them and said he would give himself up. He was detained by the police 20 minutes later on the seventh floor.

"It was not a terrorist act," Interior Minister Tibor Draskovics said.

He added that the student was a member of a shooting club and used a 9mm pistol of Czech manufacture for which he had a licence.

"I share the pain of the victim's family, and I have hope in a quick recovery for those injured in the tragedy in Pecs," Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai said in a message of condolence to the families of the victims.

"We do not know yet the reasons for this monstrous act, nobody can prepare for this, but to avoid similar tragedies in the future, we will have to calmly examine the motives of this one," he said.

Education Minister Istvan Hiller also immediately travelled to the university, which had been sealed off by the police.

Bama, an online local newspaper, quoted witnesses as saying that the shooter "did not get along with the other students and had been behaving strangely for days".

Other staff and students described the attacker as an "introvert" with an "unstable" personality and who had alcohol problems.

The man who was killed was a first-year pharmacy student, emergency services spokeswoman Cecilia Nemeth told the newspaper. He was hit by three bullets in the chest and died on the spot, Nemeth said.

The three others were taken to hospital, she added. Two were in serious condition.

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