UPDATE: THE Munich terror has finally ended with the gunman, who has now been named as Ali Sonboly, turning his weapon on himself and taking his own life, but not before killing nine people.
The shooter was 18 years old and possessed dual nationality, being a German citizen with Iranian heritage. Reports have indicated that many of the people that he targeted were children and teenagers, and police are allegedly investigating claims that Sonboly created a fake Facebook page in order to get young people to gather at the McDonald’s in the Olympia Shopping Centre so that he could pull out a gun and mow them down when they got there.
Reports have indicated that Sonboly initially came barreling out of the bathroom in the McDonald’s and started shooting people, before then heading outside and continuing on his rampage through the streets of Munich.
Police have indicated that many teenagers were among the dead and that various children were injured in the attack.
The total lockdown of the city has now been lifted as of Saturday (July 23), after police confirmed that the gunman was acting alone (following initial reports of several gunmen) and that he had killed himself in a side street.
In addition to the nine who lost their lives, 21 people were injured in the attack, with recent reports indicating that several of them are still in critical condition.
Although there has been significant speculation that the attack was motivated by the alleged bullying that Sonboly experienced at school, witnesses in McDonald’s have claimed that they heard the gunman shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ or ‘God is Great’, an expression that has been associated with Islamist terrorists due to its use in previous terrorist attacks. Additionally, Daesh supporters have taken to social media following the attack to claim responsibility for the killings.
That being said, Munich police have stated that it is too early to say whether it was a terrorist attack, and that it was still unclear whether the attack was an act of Islamic extremism or simply the work of a deranged person.
Many of the details remain unclear at the moment and more information will undoubtedly surface in the next few days, potentially shedding more light on the motivations of the shooter as well as his background.
UPDATE: THE most recent reports have indicated that at least eight people are dead and many others are injured, and that the shootings were apparently carried out by multiple suspects. However, Munich police have said on their Facebook page that it is still far too early to know the full extent of the injuries and damage.
Police have also reportedly stated that they are hunting for three suspects with “long guns”. As a result of the incident, traffic has come to a standstill in many sections of the Bavarian capital, with the ensuing state of lockdown being a sadly all too familiar sight for those in Europe as a result of the various terrorist attacks that have occurred over the last year.
At the time being, the whereabouts of the perpetrators remain unknown, so police have warned citizens to refrain from going to public places unless it is strictly necessary.
A video that has been distributed online in the aftermath of the attack depicts a man clad in black shooting wildly at civilians by a McDonalds which is attached to the Olympia Shopping Centre. Witnesses have reported that the man then ran down into the nearby subway and fled into the bowels of the city, whereas other witnesses have indicated that the man apparently screamed, “I’m German” and “f*** foreigners,” before shooting.
Other images show police officers on the roof of the shopping centre, attempting to get the situation under control. The area around the shopping centre has been sealed off whereas as an electrical shop nearby has apparently been converted into a makeshift hospital to treat the casualties.
Meanwhile, reports have indicated that a second shooting has occurred near the Marienplatz subway station, only kilometres away from the Olympia Shopping Centre, and further reports on social media have spoken of yet another shooting at Munich’s Stachus central square. However, details of both of these remain sketchy at the moment.
As the incident is still unfolding, it is hard to pin down whether a larger terrorist organisation is behind the attack or whether it is the work of a few isolated individuals.
More details to follow as they become available.
A MAJOR police operation is underway in the German city of Munich with an entire shopping centre being evacuated after reports that shots have been fired.
The incident unfolded at approximately 6pm on Friday and details remain sketchy with a police spokeswoman saying it was unclear whether anyone was hurt but that “It’s probably something bigger”.
Disturbing images have since emerged, however, of what appear to be injured victims and German media are now reporting fatalities.
Helicopters are at the scene and local authorities and police have told people to avoid the area around the shopping centre in the district of Moosach.
German security officials have been on high alert since an Afghan teenage refugee launched a wild axe attack on train passengers in Bavaria earlier this week, seriously injuring five people, before being shot dead by police.