Student Shoots 3 in Greek College, Kills Himself

A teenage student armed with two handguns and a knife opened fire in a vocational training college in Athens Friday, wounding three people before shooting himself in the head, Greek authorities said.

The 19-year-old gunman died of his injuries after being taken to a hospital. He left a note accusing his fellow students of picking on him.

"He succumbed during the operation to save him," senior Health Ministry official Panayiotis Efstathiou said.

Police said an 18-year-old student at the western Athens state college was seriously injured and two men outside the college building were shot and lightly injured. All three were hospitalized.

Although there have been cases of stabbings at Greek schools, the shooting is unprecedented.

Police identified the gunman as an immigrant from the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia.

"He left a note saying he couldn't take it any more," police spokesman Panayiotis Stathis told The Associated Press. "It seems his motive was revenge."

Stathis said the gunman shot his fellow student four times. "He may have believed (the victim) was most strongly involved in the activities against him."

He said the shooter was armed with two handguns, and a knife was found in his bag.

Police say the gunman arrived around 8:45 a.m., a quarter of an hour after lessons had started, and shot the student victim in the courtyard before running out.

He then shot two workers at a nearby shop who tried to stop him, one in the leg and the other in the arm. Then he went to a park close to the school and shot himself in the head.

Efstathiou, the Health Ministry official, said the student who was shot by the gunman was in serious condition with gunshot wounds in the chest, arms and legs, while the other two men had lighter injuries.

The shooting comes amid a recent surge of bloody bank robberies, homicides, muggings and violent burglaries in Greece. The country has no history of violent crime, and the incidents have embarrassed Greece's conservative government, which has been shaken by a series of financial scandals and holds a slim one-seat majority in parliament.

Last week, unknown gunmen shot and injured two policemen who stopped them for a routine check in Athens, while recently a gunman fired shots in an Athens hospital during a bank robbery.

In addition to the increase in crime, police have had to deal with a surge in political violence by anarchist and far-left groups, who frequently carry out arson attacks on symbols of state authority, banks and foreign diplomats' cars.

These attacks increased drastically after last December's fatal police shooting of an Athens teenager, which sparked the country's worst riots in decades.