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Rampage in Heidelberg: "A very quiet young man" – How did Nikolai G. live?

Heidelberg – Nicolai G. is considered a quiet type. Until he enters a lecture hall at Heidelberg University, heavily armed, killing one person and seriously injuring three others.

On Monday, January 24th, an 18-year-old enters lecture hall INF 360 at the University of Heidelberg*. From the city center across the Neckar, not far from the botanical garden, the zoo and the university clinic, this room, which is rather small for a lecture hall, is located. Here “outside”, in the Neuenheimer Feld, is one of the hubs of the Heidelberg University. The young man in the classroom is a student himself, enrolled in life sciences. So far, so ordinary. But what follows is shocking. Nikolai G. enters this lecture hall armed with a rifle, he has more than 100 rounds of ammunition* in his luggage.

When the police received seven emergency calls within 43 seconds at 12:24 p.m., it quickly became clear that hurry was needed. “It was clear to us that this was not a fake call, but that we had to assume that the situation was serious,” said Mannheim’s police chief Siegfried Kollmar later at a press conference. A large contingent of emergency services is on site, despite everything, three people are injured by bullets, a fellow student Gs later succumbs to her serious injuries*.

Rampage in Heidelberg: personality profile of the perpetrator – “A very quiet young man”

One may be able to speculate about the personality profiles of those who run amok – how sensible such speculations are and how much is gained in the end may be a completely different question. What all attacks have in common, however, is that they are generally never particularly noticed by those close to them. Not negative at all. In the end it’s always the “nice young man next door”.

With these same words, Cornelia Balk also describes the man who is responsible for the killing spree in Heidelberg*. Balk works in a hairdressing salon on the ground floor of the house where Nikolai G. lived until his self-imposed but just as cruelly staged suicide. In Mannheim. G’s apartment is almost directly above her workplace, right on the first floor of the house. Unit #5, the door is plain plywood that looks a bit shabby, a no-smoking sticker on the top right. You can see at first glance that someone has gained access here: the door lock has obviously been broken open and then patched up again rather poorly using a screwed-on wooden plate – and now officially sealed with a blue banderole from the Mannheim criminal police. “Anyone who damages an official seal, removes it or makes it unrecognizable will be prosecuted according to § 136 StGB (seal breakage)” can be read there.

Die Schwetzingerstraße in Mannheim


Schwetzingerstrasse in Mannheim. Here lived Nikolai G.

Heidelberg: rampage Nicolai G. – illustrious environment

The area in Mannheim’s Schwetzingerstadt/Oststadt district practically borders directly on the famous “chess board” of the inner city squares. From G’s place of residence it’s a three, maybe four minute walk to the main train station in one direction and to the water tower*, one of Mannheim’s landmarks, in the other direction. The surrounding society is – as in many places in Baden-Württemberg’s second largest city – illustrious in a positive sense: directly across the street there is a shisha bar, then a “Ferkelbraterei”, and a piano tuner runs his business next to it.

Not much is known about Nikolai G.*. And it will certainly never be possible to finally clarify what drove him to his insane act. “You’re not inside people,” says Cornelia Balk. Only shortly before Christmas did G. come to her for a haircut. “A very quiet young man”. Less than an hour after entering the lecture hall, G. will shoot himself near the botanical garden. (mko) *HEIDELBERG24 is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA

Note: We generally do not report suicides, lest such cases encourage potential imitators. Reporting only takes place if the circumstances receive special public attention. If you are suffering from an existential life crisis or depression, or if a person you know is suffering, please contact the telephone counseling service on 0800-1110111.

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