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Police detain 2 men in Hungary school killings

Two suspects have been arrested in the killing of the principal and a teacher at a Budapest school, police officials said Thursday.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Two suspects have been arrested in a double murder of the principal and a teacher at a Budapest school, police officials said Thursday.

The main suspect is a 52-year-old school security guard at the school, in the Hungarian capital's Csepel neighborhood, police said.

Budapest Police Deputy Chief Zsolt Bodnar said the security guard shot the two men Wednesday evening, hours after he and an accomplice, a 36-year-old former administrator at the school, were fired by the principal on suspicion of embezzling up to 4 million forints ($20,000).

The security guard then shot himself in the hand, possibly to support his claim the killings were carried out by an unknown masked gunman, Bodnar said.

The four men met at the school late Wednesday to discuss the final details of the dismissals and the teacher, identified as 32-year-old Laszlo Papp, had a tape recorder in his pocket, possibly to register the conversation in case of any disputes about the firings.

The crime was almost certainly premeditated, as "no discussions, only a normal conversation" could be heard on the recording before the shooting, said lead investigator Jozsef Keszthelyi.

"This is a terribly brutal crime," Keszthelyi said. He said five shots were fired but refused to reveal other details in deference to the victims' families.

The murdered principal was identified as 62-year-old Jozsef Takacs. Police characterized the shootings as the results of a "workplace conflict."

The suspects' names were not released.