Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Budapest School Shooting: Workplace Violence

A principal and teacher were killed Wednesday, January 7th, 2009, when a masked gunman opened fire in a private elementary school in Budapest, Hungary's capital city, police said.

The lone gunman entered the private school in the 21 district of Budapest at 6:40 p.m. (12:40 p.m. ET) and started shooting arbitrarily, Budapest police spokesperson Endre Kormos told the media. There were no children in the school at the time.

Both men were killed and a security guard was injured. The guard was shot in the hand and taken to the hospital, police said. Police set up checkpoints around the city to try to track down the gunman and issued a reward of 5 million Forints (about $26,000) for public assistance in the case.

The two male victims were shot in the head.

Csepel, the specific site of the shootings, is located on the northern tip of a large island in the Danube River and during the communist regime it was the hub of Budapest's heavy industry.

January 8th update:

Two suspects have been arrested in a Budapest, Hungary, school shooting that left a principal and a teacher dead, police said Thursday.

One suspect is a security guard who was injured in Wednesday's shooting at the private elementary school, CNN reported. He sustained a gunshot wound to the hand which police said could have been self-inflicted.

Police said the other suspect is the school's finance director.

Police indicated both suspects had been laid off about a week before the attack and indicated revenge may have been a motive, CNN said.

No children were in the school when a masked gunman entered and began shooting , police said.


The location: Budapest, Hungary, was the setting for the start of the "Gloomy Sunday" copycat suicide wave, beginning in 1936, which swept throughout Europe.

In two recent school shootings in Europe, January was the month of the event (e.g. Jan, Sweden, 2001, and The Hague, Netherlands, 2004). Both of those involved an individual young shooter.

This date in history: On January 7th, 1973, Black Liberation Army member Mark James Essex fatally killed 10 people. He also wounded 13 others at the Downtown Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge in New Orleans, Louisiana, before being shot to death by police, who launched an assault using 600 officers and a helicopter gunship. Most of the victims who were targeted by sniper Essex were Caucasian, and firefighters, military and law enforcement officers.

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