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Greek student fires on three, kills self

world Updated: Apr 10, 2009 21:08 IST
Greek student fires on three

A 20-year-old Greek student on Friday opened fire in an Athens technical college and wounded three people before killing himself, leaving behind a note saying his peers mistreated him, officials said.

Armed with two small-calibre weapons, the student initially shot a fellow student in the chest inside the college, ran outside where he wounded another two people, and finally fired a bullet into his head, police said.

“He was apparently heading for the classrooms when he came upon the student going to the bathroom,” the college’s canteen operator told reporters.

“Then he went across the street. I saw him talking to two people and suddenly they were on the ground too,” he said.

Police said the young gunman, an ethnic Greek whose family emigrated from Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia, left behind a note in which he complained about how his peers treated him.

“I cannot take the disdain any more,” the note said according to police.

A knife and bullets were also found in his backpack, police said.

Other students said the gunman was a loner.

“He was a very withdrawn person, constantly alone and not mixing with the other kids,” a student told NET state television.

Critically injured in the head, the unidentified gunman was rushed to hospital but died on the operating table, the health ministry said.

His fellow student, a 19-year-old, was in serious condition but the passers-by suffered only minor injuries, senior health ministry official Panagiotis Efstathiou told reporters.

The college is situated on a large avenue in the west of the Greek capital. Acts of violence in Greek schools and colleges are uncommon.

“These incidents are unknown and foreign to the (Greek) education community,” Employment Minister Fani-Palli Petralia, whose ministry supervises the operation of the technical colleges, told parliament.

Firearm possession in Greece requires a police licence but the restriction is not stringently enforced.