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3 dead, 5 wounded in shooting in southwestern Germany

    A police officer secureed evidence on a balcony at a crime scene in Dossenheim near Heidelberg, Germany today.

BERLIN » A shooting at a property owners’ meeting in southwestern Germany that left three people including the suspected shooter dead followed a long-running dispute over bills, officials said today. The alleged assailant was a recreational marksman with no police record.

The 71-year-old retiree was thrown out of a meeting with seven other property owners and an administrator at a sports club in Dossenheim, near Heidelberg, on Tuesday evening after an argument escalated over his accusations that the others fraudulently calculated bills, police and prosecutors said.

The man returned about 15 minutes later and fired into the meeting — killing two people and wounding five, including his own wife and a woman who was standing outside the window of the room, prosecutor Alexander Schwarz said. The man, whose name wasn’t released, then killed himself with a shot to the head.

The assailant used a large-caliber handgun which he bought in 1992 and was legally registered, police investigator Siegfried Kolmar told a news conference in Heidelberg. Investigators believe he fired 17 shots in total.

The man was a longstanding shooting club member and had another six registered firearms, Kolmar said. Previous meetings of the property owners’ association had also become heated and the suspected shooter early last year filed a criminal complaint against his building’s administrators over the alleged fraud, according to prosecutors.

None of the wounded have life-threatening injuries, Schwarz said.

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