Teenager a ‘lone wolf’ attacker apparently ‘inspired’ by Islamic State, minister says; all-clear given after hours of panic and tension
(SOURCE) Munich police said early Saturday that the shooter in a deadly shopping mall rampage that killed at least nine people was an 18-year-old German-Iranian man.
“The perpetrator was an 18-year-old German-Iranian from Munich,” police chief Hubertus Andrae told reporters after the massacre that left 10 people dead including the gunman. “The motive or explanation for this crime is completely unclear.”
However, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the teenager was believed to be a “lone wolf” attacker who appeared to have been “inspired” by the Islamic State group but was not a member of the jihadist network.
Nine people were killed and 21 were injured in the shooting, described by police as an “acute terror” situation.
Investigators found the body of the suspected shooter, who appears to have acted alone and then killed himself.
Police said the gunman was a German-Iranian 18-year-old who was not previously known to police.
The shooter opened fire at a McDonald’s restaurant and continued onto a street before entering the Olympia (OEZ) mall near the Olympic stadium in Munich.
A video posted on social media appeared to show a man dressed in black walking away from the McDonald’s while firing repeatedly on people as they fled.
Video obtained by The Associated Press from German news agency NonstopNews showed two bodies with sheets draped over them not far from a McDonald’s across from the mall.
Another video appeared to show the shooter opening fire at civilians outside the fast food restaurant.
Authorities evacuated the main train station in the city of some 1.4 million, while metro and bus transport services were suspended in the wake of the assault, but have since resumed. For hours, locals were told to say off the streets, amid fears gunmen were still on the loose, before the all-clear was given.
The shopping center, which opened in the 1970s and bills itself as Bavaria’s biggest, was surrounded by armed police, while a helicopter buzzed overhead.
The Olympia mall is near the stadium for the 1972 Olympics and the athletes’ village, which was the site of the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes by the Palestinian Black September group.
Europe has been on alert in the wake of a string of attacks including bombings in neighboring France and Belgium.
The carnage came on the fifth anniversary of right-wing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik’s massacre in Norway that killed 77 people.
The violence happened just days after a teenage asylum seeker went on a rampage with an axe and a knife on a regional train in Germany on Monday, injuring five people, two of them critically.
The assailant had arrived as an unaccompanied minor in Germany in June 2015 and had been staying with a foster family in the region of the attack for the last two weeks.
In May, a mentally unstable 27-year-old man carried out a knife attack on a regional train just southeast of Munich, killing one person and injuring three others.
Bavaria became the main gateway for hundreds of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers arriving in Germany.
Hate crimes and attacks against migrants exploded after arrivals spiked to more than one million last year, mostly from the Middle East and Africa.
Of these, 177 were acts of violence, up from 26 in 2014.