German police say a 17-year-old gunman has been killed following a shooting spree that began at a school near Stuttgart and left 15 other people dead.
Police say the youth, dressed in black fatigues, entered classrooms at the Albertville technical high school in the town of Winnenden Wednesday morning and opened fire.
According to the police, he killed nine students and three teachers and left seven other students injured. The shooter, a former student at the school, fled the building after police arrived and later killed three other people. They say most of the victims at the school were female.
He was found dead after an exchange of gunfire with police. Officers say he might have committed suicide.
In Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed shock, describing the killings as an "appalling crime." She called Wednesday "a day of mourning for the whole of Germany."
Police closed all schools in the region and warned local residents to remain indoors as scores of helmeted police hunted for the gunman and helicopters circled the town.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.