It’s the evening of his first day of school. The boy is sitting in the living room in front of the television; it has long been dark outside. On the terrace the adults smoke cigarettes and talk. In front of the large fir tree that blocks the view of the street is the trampoline that the boy loves to jump on. Behind the fir tree, down on the street, is the man with the repeating rifle.

The man left early that day. He’s already loaded the rifle, five rounds in the magazine, one shot in the barrel. He had secured it under the car with loudspeaker cables, he drove around town all day, and in the afternoon he stood with the car in front of the elementary school gymnasium. He saw the children with their school bags, the parents, proud faces.

Now, it is 9:30 p.m. on September 14, 2017, he sneaks into the garden via the 22 steps of a moss-covered stone staircase. The man knows the way. He’s been here before. He walks the last few meters close to the wall of the house so that the motion detector doesn’t give him away. As he steps into the light of the terrace, he says: “Nice evening.” Then he shoots. Reloads. Shoots. Reloads.

Access to all STERN PLUS content and articles from the print magazine


Already registered?