July 23, 2016 – An 18-year-old German-Iranian gunman who apparently acted alone opened fire near a busy shopping mall in Munich on Friday evening, killing at least nine people in the third attack on civilians in Western Europe in eight days.
As authorities sought to piece together the circumstances of an attack behind which they had found no immediate evidence of an Islamist motive, Munich police said they would hold a 0930 GMT (5.30 am ET) news conference.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to meet her chief of staff Peter Altmaier, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere and intelligence officials on Saturday to review the incident. She will make a statement at 1230 GMT, her office said.
The pistol-wielding attacker, identified by Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae as a dual national from Munich, was later found dead of a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound.
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At 5.50pm yesterday, witnesses have reported, a gunman burst from the restaurant’s toilets and began shooting children as they ate, before taking his killing spree through Olympia Einkaufszentrum (the shopping centre) in the south German city.
Authorities said it was too early to say whether it was a terrorist attack but that the shooter was believed to have staged the attack alone, opening fire in a fast food restaurant before moving to the mall.
German police are probing claims that some of the young victims of a gun massacre, which left nine dead in Munich yesterday, may have been lured to the scene of the crime with the promise of free McDonald’s food.
A fake Facebook page reportedly told youngsters to gather at the city’s Hanauer Street branch to receive complimentary food.
In addition to determining the motive, police will have to find out how the 18-year-old got the firearm used in the attack in a country whose gun control system is described by the U.S. Congress Library as being “among the most stringent in Europe.”
The gunman, whose body was found on a side street near the mall, was not identified but Andrae said he was not previously known to police.
Police commandos, armed with night vision equipment and dogs, raided an apartment in the Munich neighborhood of Maxvorstadt early on Saturday where the German newspaper Bild said the gunman lived with his parents.
“I am shocked, what happened to the boy? Only God knows what happened,” Telfije Dalpi, a 40-year-old Macedonian neighbor of the family told Reuters. “I have no idea what happened – but he was a good human being. I have no idea if he did anything bad elsewhere.”