The actions of the 18-year old German-Iranian man, who opened fire near Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall in Munich on Friday, have been regarded as those of a deranged person. There has been no evidence linking the him to the Islamic State, the police reported.
The gunman suffered from depression and had an obsession with shooting sprees like the massacre five years ago by Norwegian right wing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik.
His name has not been made public.
The shooting began at a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant at the Olympia shopping mall near Munich’s Olympic stadium shortly before 9:30 pm on Friday.
A video posted on social media appeared to show a man dressed in black walking away from the restaurant while firing repeatedly on people as they fled.
Police in the German city of Munich have asked members of the public to submit any videos, photos or audio recordings from Friday’s mass shooting at a shopping centre that left 10 people dead including the attacker.
Chancellor Angela Merkel delayed a holiday in the Alps to chair a meeting of the national security council later on Saturday, BBC reported.
She will meet her Chief of Staff, Peter Altmaier, and Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere and a host of intelligence officials on Saturday to review the incident on Friday evening that was carried out by the sole Iranian-German shooter that killed nine people and also shot himself after being surrounded by security forces.
The first call by an eyewitness was received at 5.50 p.m. and notified authorities about gunfire on two streets near the Olympia shopping complex, which is located in a residential area and is made up of 135 commercial establishments, Al Jazeera reported.
At least 21 people, including children, were wounded in the attack, 16 of whom were still being treated in hospital. The nine casualties, apart from the attacker himself, included three Kosovans and one Greek.
The shooter’s body was found about 1km away from the shopping centre. A red rucksack found near the body was being examined for explosives, Al Jazeera quoted the police as saying.
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There were reports that the shooter may have set up a fake Facebook account under a female name through which he attempted to encourage people to come down to the mall’s McDonald’s, The Guardian said in a report.
Under the female guise, it is claimed the gunman offered in a post to buy anyone who came down a free meal.
According to reports, the account was created a short time before the posts and was then disabled while the shooting was taking place on Friday.
According to police chief Hubertus Andrae the suspect had dual citizenship and “no criminal record” and no motive behind the attack was discovered till now.
Most of the casualties are young people aged 15 to 21, Bavarian public television said.
Initially believing three gunmen were involved, the authorities launched a city-wide manhunt, mobilising more than 2,000 police supported by the elite GSG-9 anti-terrorist unit and helicopters.
Munich’s main train station was closed and public transport suspended for several hours.
Investigators later found the body of the suspected shooter, who appears to have acted alone and then killed himself with a shot to the head.
Investigations of his home and police files point to “a classic act by a deranged person,” Andrae said.
“There is absolutely no link to the Islamic State,” he said, adding that the suspect had been obsessed with books and articles about mass killings “linked to maniacs.”
He said German investigators have established an “obvious link” between Friday’s shooting at a Munich mall and Breivik’s mass killings on July 22, 2011.
The city’s chief prosecutor also said the suspect had suffered “some form of depression”, but voiced caution over reports he may have undergone psychiatric treatment.
The rampage is the latest in a string of jihadist attacks in western Europe but also on the fifth anniversary of the Breivik massacre that left 77 people dead.
Four days earlier, a 17-year-old asylum-seeker, believed to be a “lone wolf” Afghan or Pakistani inspired by the IS, went on a rampage with an axe and a knife on a regional train in Bavaria, injuring five people, two of them critically.
Authorities have said Munich is returning to normal. Public transport services, which were closed down during the huge manhunt following the attack, resumed overnight, BBC noted.
People could be seen laying flowers and lighting candles outside the Olympia shopping mall on Saturday.
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