Munich attack: 10, including ‘lone’ attacker, dead
German police said a total of 10 people, including the attacker, who opened fire in a crowded Munich shopping mall and a nearby McDonald’s eatery Friday evening, died in the attack.
Twenty people were injured, three of them are in a critical condition, the police added.
Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae told a news conference early on Saturday that the assailant had committed suicide when he was challenged by the police. In all likelihood the gunman was a lone wolf, the police said.
“We found a man, who had killed himself. We assume that he was the only shooter. #gunfire #munich,” the police had tweeted earlier.
Some 2,300 law enforcement officials had responded to the incident, the BBC said in a report.
The police chief said that the gunman was an 18-year-old Iranian from Munich who had been living in Munich for longer than two years, CNN reported.
“Police don’t believe the gunman, an 18-year-old German-Iranian, had any accomplices,” he noted.
The motive for the shootings was unclear.
Police had declared a terror alarm for south Germany after shooting.
Munich’s main train station was evacuated completely and the city’s transport system was suspended.
Several residents had offered space to those stranded in their own homes on social media, using the hashtag #Offenetuer — which means “open door” — for people who found it difficult to get home, the BBC reported.
‘Islamische Zeitung’ a Muslim newspaper published in Germany tweeted that mosques in Munich would stay open overnight for anyone who needs refuge.
The Czech Republic’s interior minister, Milan Chovanec, had told local television that the country’s border was reinforced in case the Munich attacker or attackers tried to flee, German broadcaster NTV reported.
A state of Emergency was declared in Munich and special operations are still underway.
Reports of shooting at Marienplatz station in Munich also made rounds in the media.
Reports also say a gunman opened fire in Stachus Square, Munich’s main square just three miles away from the Munich Olympia centre.
Terrified shoppers were seen running for their lives from Munich Olympia Shopping Centre after hearing gunshots.
A video purported o be of the shooter shows a man dressed in black, firing 20 shots has been posted on Twitter. The footage shows him outside a McDonald’s outside the shopping centre.
The area around Munich Olympia Shopping Centre was sealed off and the police had told people to stay at home and avoid going out.
The anti-terror special unit of the federal police was deployed in the city. Border patrol helicopters were pressed in to hunt the attackers.
The authorities had warned of more attacks.
The shopping mall is located next to the Olympic Stadium in the city where 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were murdered by the Black September Palestinian militant group during the Olympic Games in 1972.
German President Joachim Gauck, said he was “horrified” by the shooting in Munich.
In a statement, Gauck said: “I am with all the victims in my thoughts and all those who are mourning or fearful for loved ones.”
He also offered his “solidarity” to people in the emergency services who are working this evening, trying to “protect people and save lives”.
US President Barack Obama on pledged support to Germany in the wake of the shooting rampage.
The US has also issued an advisory for its citizens in Germany asking them to maintain a high level of vigilance and take steps to enhance personal security.
President Obama, who was briefed about the attack on the Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall, said, “We don’t yet know exactly what’s happening there, but obviously our hearts go out to those who may have been injured. We are going to pledge all the support they may need.”
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton also condemned the shooting.
Hillary said that she is “monitoring the horrific situation in Munich”.
“We stand with our friends in Germany as they work to bring those responsible to justice,” she tweeted.
The police president also said that two people seen fleeing the scene in a vehicle were initially considered to be suspects.
According to CNN, “On the basis of witness reports and CCTV footage” a man found dead near the scene is considered to be the suspect. Police currently believe nobody else was involved.