9 victims, gunman dead in Munich rampage, police say
At least nine people were killed and 21 others hurt Friday in a shooting rampage at a busy shopping district in Munich, Germany, police said.
Police searched for attackers, found a man who had killed himself and concluded he was the only gunman, the police chief said.
The unidentified gunman was an 18-year-old German-Iranian who had lived in Munich for more than two years, Chief Hubertus Andrae told reporters.
No group has claimed responsibility and police have not provided a motive. Authorities said children were among the casualties.
Here’s what we know so far:
• The gunman started shooting at a McDonald’s across from the Olympia shopping mall about 5:50 p.m. (11:50 a.m. ET), Andrae said. He moved across the street to the mall, which is adjacent to the site of the 1972 Olympics.
• Police, thinking up to three gunman might be on the loose, launched a manhunt, putting the city on virtual lockdown. Police urged residents to stay in their homes.
• At 8:30 p.m., police found a man who took his own life, Andrae said. Based on surveillance video and witness statements, police concluded he was the sole gunman, Andrae said. The man was not known to police and his motives are unclear.
• Police do not believe he had any associates on the ground but are investigating whether anybody helped him plan the attack.
• A profanity-filled verbal exchange between a man who matches the description of the Munich shooter and a witness was posted on social media Friday. The exchange, recorded on two different camera phones, captured an intense conversation that ends in gunfire. The man who appears to be a shooter said insulting things about Turks, did not espouse jihadist ideology and spoke with a German accent.
• Enhanced police patrols have been deployed to the Austria-German border, a spokesperson for the Austrian Ministry of Interior told CNN. Special forces from Bavaria and surrounding federal states have been brought in to Munich as reinforcements.
• Olympia mall, located in a middle-class neighborhood in northern Munich, is the city’s biggest shopping center. It’s located near a large BMW factory and is a popular destination for shoppers on Friday nights, German lawmaker Charles Huber told CNN. It’s near a major transit hub.
• A witness who will only be identified as Lauretta told CNN her son was in a bathroom with a shooter at the McDonald’s. “That’s where he loaded his weapon,” she said. “I hear like an alarm and boom, boom, boom… And he’s still killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can’t run.” Lauretta said she heard the gunman say, “Allahu Akbar,” or God is great. “I know this because I’m Muslim. I hear this and I only cry.”
• Lynn Stein, who said she works at the Jack Wolfskin store in the mall, said she heard six of seven shots. “People were very confused, and they were running and they were screaming,” she said. She said she saw someone lying on the floor of a store who appeared to be either dead or injured. “There’s a woman over them, crying.”
• Thamina Stoll told CNN she was with her grandmother, who lives about three minutes away from the mall: “There were like 50 people running towards our house to seek shelter, and there was a helicopter circling above us for about 20 minutes and sirens. And there’s still people walking on the streets. They’re confused, and nobody knows what’s really going on.”
• Two subway lines (U1, U3) and several bus lines in Munich are experiencing interruptions because of the police operations around the shopping mall, MVG (Munich Transport Corporation) said. Officials expect the interruptions to continue for a few more hours.
• Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, told public broadcaster ZDF in a live special broadcast that she is receiving regular updates, the appropriate ministers are on their way to Berlin and the federal security council has called a meeting for Saturday
• President Barack Obama condemned the attack, as did U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. In a statement, Kerry said, “We are in close contact with German officials and stand ready to provide any and all assistance requested by our close friend and ally Germany in this time of crisis.”
• The U.S. military began a headcount of all its personnel — some 62,000 — and their dependents throughout Europe to confirm their safety.
• The attack occurred eight days after the terror attack in Nice, France, which left 84 people dead.
• The shooting comes as recent terror attacks have put Europe on high alert. This week, a teenager who said he was inspired by ISIS stabbed passengers on a German train before police shot him dead.