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Munich Attack: 18-Year-Old German-Iranian Dual Citizen Kills 9 at McDonald’s, Mall

At least nine people have been killed and 21 wounded after a gunman opened fire on shoppers in the German city of Munich before killing himself. The attacker has been identified as Ali David Sonboly, an 18-year-old German-Iranian dual citizen.

UPDATE 1500 BST — Story summary:

  • 18-year-old Ali David Sonboly, a German-Iranian dual national, shot and killed nine people in a mall in the city of Munich yesterday.
  • Sonboly then turned the gun on himself.
  • Police have said there is no evidence linking him to Islamic State, however they did find literature about mass shootings in his room.
  • Sonboly apparently had a history of mental health issues and received psychiatric treatment.
  • He used an unlicensed Glock-17 to carry out the attack.
  • He also reportedly used a hacked Facebook account to lure people to the location of the attack by promising free food.
  • Police and the media have been trying to link the attack to Norwegian nationalist Anders Breivik.

UPDATE 1410 BST — Now German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière says the attacker had no links to international terrorism.

UPDATE 1355 BST — First image of attacker emerges.

sonboly

UPDATE 1340 BST — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken on the attack.

She said that Germany is mourning for those who will never see their families again: “We share in your grief – we think of you and are suffering with you.”

She added that the attack was so much more difficult to bear because it comes just days after train axe attack, and the attack in Nice.

UPDATE 1300 BST — After denying Islamist links, police try to link gunman to Anders Breivik, the Norwegian nationalist who killed 77 people five years ago yesterday.

UPDATE 1150 BST — It appears reports of the attacker luring people to the scene with a Facebook post are correct, AP reports:

Munich police investigator Robert Heimberger says it appears that the shooter hacked a Facebook account and sent a message urging people to come to the mall for a free giveaway.

The posting, sent from a young woman’s account, urged people to come to the mall at 4 p.m., saying: “I’ll give you something if you want, but not too expensive.”

Heimberger says: “It appears it was prepared by the suspect and then sent out.”

The woman shortly after reported that her account had been hacked.

UPDATE 1140 BST — Details of the victims are coming to light, Reuters reports.

Kosovan media reported that three of the victims were of Kosovan origin. Naim Zabergja, the father of one of the victims wrote on Facebook: “With great sadness I want to inform you that my son Dijamant Zabergja, 21, was killed yesterday in Munich.”

A second victim was named by her brother on Facebook as Armela Segashi, who he said died along with a third, Sabina Sulaj.

UPDATE 1135 BST — Police found a book on spree killings in the attacker’s bedroom.

UPDATE 1130 BST — Police call the attack a “classic shooting rampage” and say it is not a terror attack.

UPDATE 1120 BST — Germany’s gun control laws did not prevent this shooting.

Police said he used a Glock-17, a weapon for which he did not hold a license.

UPDATE 1055 BST — Munich Police Hold Press Conference

  • Police chief Hubertus Andrae says officers have found no evidence to link the attacker to Islamic State, and there are no indications he had help from anyone else.
  • The attacker is confirmed as being 18 years old and based in Munich. He was born in Germany.
  • He had an unlicensed 2mm weapon and 300 rounds in his bag. Police fired at him, but did not hit him.
  • Although police found no Islamist literature in his home they did find literature about spree shootings.
  • His body was found with a single gunshot in the head, suggesting suicide.
  • No apparent political motive.
  • The victims are aged between 15 and 45. All lived in the local area and no tourists were involved.
  • The gunman had received psychiatric treatment.

UPDATE 1040 BST — The attacker’s full name is allegedly Ali David Sonboly.

UPDATE 1010 BST — Attacker named as “David S.”

UPDATE 0945 BST — There are now claims the gunman may have lured victims to the McDonalds with a Facebook page offering free food.

UPDATE 0935 BST — Islamic State have celebrated the attack, but have so far not claimed responsibility.

UPDATE 0925 BST — Chancellor Angela Merkel to meet with heads of security later today:

UPDATE 0920 BST — AFP reports there are security fears over the legendary Bayreuth opera festival:

GettyImages-481909156

The curtain goes up just days after an 18-year-old German-Iranian went on a shooting rampage in Munich killing nine people before shooting himself.

Only a week earlier, five people were after injured in an axe attack on a Bavarian train in Wuerzburg that was claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.

Bayreuth is just a two-hour ride from both incidents.

Tighter security on Bayreuth’s mythic Green Hill — on which stands the Festspielhaus festival theatre — has been in place since the start of rehearsals in June.

Town authorities called for stepped measures following rumours that this year’s new production, which no one has seen yet, of Richard Wagner’s last opera, “Parsifal”, could be seen as being critical of Islam.

According to media reports, subsequently dismissed by the production’s director Uwe Eric Laufenberg, the “Flowermaidens” in the opera were to have worn burqas.

Festival insiders say the heightened security could sour the hitherto idyllic summer atmosphere in Bayreuth’s world-famous Festspielhaus, the theatre built to Wagner’s own designs.

UPDATE 0915 BST — Iran has condemned the attack.

AFP reports:

Foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi denounced “the killing of innocent and defenceless people” and expressed Iran’s solidarity with the German government and people, official IRNA news agency reported.

Ghasemi also called for a “relentless and comprehensive fight” to eradicate violence.

UPDATE 0900 BST — What we know so far:

  • At least nine people were shot and killed in an attack on a shopping mall in the German city of Munich.
  • Police now say there was only one gunman,and have identified him as a German-Iranian dual national.
  • After the rampage, the gunman shot and killed himself.
  • Munich police say his motive is still “fully unknown”.
  • One bystander confronted the gunman, shouting insults at him, prompting the gunman to shout “I am German!” before killing himself.
  • Three people are reportedly in a “serious condition”.

UPDATE 0845 BST — German tabloid Bild is reporting that police are questioning the suspected gunman’s father as forensic teams search the apartment where he lived with his parents.

Neighbours have described him as a “quiet guy”.

“A friend of mine went to school with him and said he was rather a quiet guy. He recognised him from the videos from the scene,” said one.

UPDATE 0840 BST — A woman has laid nine white roses and lit nine candles this morning at the scene of yesterday’s attack.

Joerg Koch/Getty Images

Joerg Koch/Getty Images

UPDATE 0245 BST — Lines up with the eyewitness report that the killer targeted children at the McDonald’s. Number of wounded revised to 16.

UPDATE 0155 BST — Cautious “all-clear.” Number of wounded now given as 21.

UPDATE 0147 BST — Killer had dual citizenship.

UPDATE 0131 BST — Killer was 18-year-old German-Iranian man.

UPDATE 0042 BST — Body count climbs again.

UPDATE 0033 BST — Only one attacker after all?

UPDATE 0025 BST — Wire photos of the aftermath and police searching for suspects

Police arrest three men, whose identities and roles were not yet confirmed, near Marienplatz square on July 22, 2016 in Munich, Germany. During an unfolding terror attack with possibly three shooters and at least eight people confirmed dead Shootings were first reported several hours ago at a Munich shopping mall

An armed police man guards the downtown pedestrian zone near Marienplatz square. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

Police arrest three men, whose identities and roles were not yet confirmed, near Marienplatz square on July 22, 2016 in Munich, Germany. During an unfolding terror attack with possibly three shooters and at least eight people confirmed dead Shootings were first reported several hours ago at a Munich shopping mall

Armed police guard the downtown pedestrian zone near Marienplatz square. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

Special police forces prepare to search a neighbouring shopping centre outside the Olympia mall in Munich, southern Germany, Friday, July 22, 2016 after several people have been killed in a shooting. (AP Photo/Sebastian Widmann)

Special police forces prepare to search a neighbouring shopping centre outside the Olympia mall. (AP Photo/Sebastian Widmann)

People leave the Olympia mall in Munich, southern Germany, Friday, July 22, 2016 after several people have been killed in a shooting. (AP Photo/Sebastian Widmann)

People leave the Olympia mall. (AP Photo/Sebastian Widmann)

Police arrest three men, whose identities and roles were not yet confirmed, near Marienplatz square on July 22, 2016 in Munich, Germany. During an unfolding terror attack with possibly three shooters and at least eight people confirmed dead Shootings were first reported several hours ago at a Munich shopping mall

Armed police guard the downtown pedestrian zone near Marienplatz square. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

A policeman secures the area around the shopping mall Olympia Einkaufzentrum OEZ in Munich on July 22, 2016 after gunmen went on a shooting rampage in the busy shopping centre, killing eight people in a suspected terror attack. The southern city was in lockdown after the shootings, which saw panicked shoppers fleeing the Olympia mall as armed anti-terror police roamed the streets in search of the assailants. / AFP / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

A policeman secures the area around the shopping mall Olympia Einkaufzentrum OEZ in Munich on July 22, 2016 after gunmen went on a shooting rampage in the busy shopping centre, killing eight people in a suspected terror attack.
The southern city was in lockdown after the shootings, which saw panicked shoppers fleeing the Olympia mall as armed anti-terror police roamed the streets in search of the assailants. (STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

GERMANY OUT In this grab taken from video, a body covered with a sheet outside a mall, in Munich, Germany, Friday, July 22, 2016. A manhunt was underway Friday for a shooter or shooters who opened fire at a shopping mall in Munich, killing and wounding several people, a Munich police spokeswoman said. The city transit system shut down and police asked people to avoid public places. (NONSTOP NEWS via AP)

In this grab taken from video, a body covered with a sheet outside a mall, in Munich, Germany, Friday, July 22, 2016. (NONSTOP NEWS via AP)

Members of the public run away from the Olympia Einkaufszentrum mall, after a shooting, in Munich, Germany, Friday, July 22, 2016. A manhunt was underway Friday for a shooter or shooters who opened fire at a shopping mall in Munich, killing and wounding several people, a Munich police spokeswoman said. The city transit system shut down and police asked people to avoid public places. (AP)

Members of the public run away from the Olympia Einkaufszentrum mall, after a shooting, in Munich, Germany, Friday, July 22, 2016. (AP)

In this grab taken from video, police run in the area of the Olympia Einkaufszentrum mall, after a shooting, in Munich, Germany, Friday, July 22, 2016. A manhunt was underway Friday for a shooter or shooters who opened fire at a shopping mall in Munich, killing and wounding several people, a Munich police spokeswoman said. The city transit system shut down and police asked people to avoid public places. (AP)

In this grab taken from video, police run in the area of the Olympia Einkaufszentrum mall. (AP)

CORRECTS SOURCE Armed police move past onlooking media responding to a shooting at a shopping center in Munich, Germany, Friday July 22, 2016. Munich police confirm shots have been fired at Olympia Einkaufszentrum shopping center but say they don't have any details about casualties. Police are responding in large numbers. (AP)

CORRECTS SOURCE Armed police move past onlooking media responding to a shooting at a shopping center in Munich, Germany. (AP)

UPDATE 0015 BST — Public transit resumes

UPDATE 0011 BST — At least 10 wounded

UPDATE 0005 BST — Police: Attackers have “Islamist background”

UPDATE 2249 BST — Images of Individuals Arrested Surface

Getty Images has published photographs of three men under arrest and monitored by police, including two men visibly not wearing pants. Getty’s captions note it is unclear what the men’s relationship is to the shooting, or if they are considered suspects. The men were arrested near Marienplatz square.

Police arrest three men, whose identities and roles were not yet confirmed, near Marienplatz square on July 22, 2016 in Munich, Germany. During an unfolding terror attack with possibly three shooters and at least eight people confirmed dead Shootings were first reported several hours ago at a Munich shopping mall

Police arrest three men, whose identities and roles were not yet confirmed, near Marienplatz square on July 22, 2016 in Munich, Germany. During an unfolding terror attack with possibly three shooters and at least eight people confirmed dead Shootings were first reported several hours ago at a Munich shopping mall

Police arrest three men, whose identities and roles were not yet confirmed, near Marienplatz square on July 22, 2016 in Munich, Germany. During an unfolding terror attack with possibly three shooters and at least eight people confirmed dead Shootings were first reported several hours ago at a Munich shopping mall

UPDATE 2235 BST — Reuters: Location of Ninth Body About 1KM from Shooting

UPDATE 2235 BST — Merkel Chief of Staff: No Confirmation of Terrorist Link

Peter Altmaier, Chief of Staff to Chancellor Angela Merkel, said in a German television interview that police have yet to be able to confirm a link between the gunmen and any terrorist groups, though the investigation is active, according to DeutscheWelle.

UPDATE 2211 BST — President Obama Weighs In: ‘Our Way of Life, Our Freedom… Depends on Law Enforcement”

President Obama says “we don’t yet know exactly what’s happening” in Munich, noting it is an “active situation,” but pledges support to Germany. Obama also jokes about concern over his daughter leaving to college soon.

UPDATE 2141 BST — Munich Police: Potential 9th Person Dead, May Be Attacker or Accomplice

In a tweet, Munich police say they are investigating whether a ninth person killed is one of the gunmen; police previously stated they believed up to three attackers were on the loose.

UPDATE 2138 BST — White House Condemns ‘Apparent Terrorist Attack’

White House Press Secretary Joshua Earnest has released a statement, asserting that Washington “condemns in the strongest terms” the “apparent” terrorist attack in Munich.

UPDATE 2134 BST — Witness Says Gunmen Appeared to Target Children, 8 Dead

Those still in the shopping center currently under siege have reportedly been told to leave the center with their hands up.

Police have now confirmed eight deaths.

UPDATE 2130 BST — CNN Reports Witnesses Heard ‘Allahu Akbar’ Shouts

An eyewitness identifying herself as a Muslim tells CNN she heard shouts of “Allahu Akbar” as shots rang out, confirmed that she heard correctly because “I am a Muslim.” 

UPDATE 2124 BST — US Consulate in Munich warns citizens to stay away

The Consulate also advises individuals to avoid plazas and public squares until police life the state of emergency in the city.

UPDATE 2100 BST — Müncheners urged to ‘check in’ after terror attack 
Police have called for people in Munich to go on Facebook and check in to the emergency system Facebook created to help locate people in terror attacks and natural disasters.

UPDATE 2035 BST — Latest from Munich Police — 6 Dead
Munich police have officially declared six dead in the shootings so far. A police spokesman speaking to media earlier said:

“What I can tell you is there was an incident at the OEZ [Olympia], we have sent police and all emergency services there. What happened, at the moment there are three attackers… we have at the moment 100 people on site and we are trying to evacuate around 100 people”. The spokesman said he could not answer questions about the identities of the attackers, that the injured were in “double figures” and warned Müncheners to stay indoors.

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UPDATE 2030 BST — ISIS-linked communications channel praises attack A journalist with the pan-Arabic Al Aan Satelite TV network has tweeted screenshots of what she claims is an “ISIS propaganda channel” which has not claimed responsibility. The messages, which appear to come from a Whatsapp group read: “Munich so far not claimed by Islamic State. But everything hurting infidels make us happy”.

UPDATE 2020 BST — ‘At Least 6 Dead’ says European agency The European news agency AFP has reported there are at least six dead in the ongoing Munich ‘terror’ attack with three shooters still at large. No confirmation yet on motives for attack.

UPDATE 2000 BST — Video of emergency services tending to wounded
A video showing stretchers being prepared to take wounded and an injured man lying supine with a sheet over his body has been uploaded to Twitter.

UPDATE 1940 BST — Well-meaning Müncheners opening their doors to strangers in wake of terror attack
Munich residents have been using the hashtag #offenetür (open door) to offer their hospitality to people unable to get home amid the chaos in the city.

However, others have pointed out the inherent danger in opening doors to strangers at a time when gunmen are on the loose, warning people to take precautions before they open the door.

309724459

Aftermath of the May Munich stabbing / Getty

UPDATE 1935 BST — Second Terror Attack in Munich in 2016 
German police are reportedly now treating the shooting as a terror attack. Breitbart London reported in May about another terror attack in the German city of Munich, where one died and three were injured.

The attacker reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he stabbed his fellow passengers on a train. Read more.

UPDATE 1925 BST — Updates from Munich Police 

Munich police have posted a series of tweets which appear to suggest that gun fire is being heard elsewhere in the city, including mentions of a “shootout” at approximately 18:50pm. They are repeating advice to avoid public areas warning “the suspects are still on the run,” but are underscoring that the situation remains “confusing”.

A Police statement stated:

“At 17.50 o’ clock witnesses came forward at the police station and reported a shooting in the area of Hanau Street. Witnesses report three different people with guns.

“Type and number of victims is unknown. The police are using all available forces with the support of special forces, the federal police and neighbouring [forces].

“At the moment no perpetrators have been arrested… Due to the unclear situation we ask all people in the metropolitan area to stay at home or In nearby buildings to seek shelter. The operation of the public transport is currently suspended.

“As soon as more information becomes available, it will be reported”.

UPDATE 1915 BST — Three confirmed dead 
The German Interior Ministry has confirmed three dead, the Telegraph has reported.

However, German sources including the Muencher Abendzeitung are reporting that the death toll is much higher, with perhaps as many as 15 casualties. It is not known how many have been injured. An employee within the centre told Reuters “many shots were fired.”

UPDATE 1900 BST — WARNING GRAPHIC 
Munich police have asked witnesses not to share pictures of the situation as it unfolds as they track the shooter/s, however a number of images have been posted. While some actually show other attacks including the 2013 Kenyan mall attack, others are more clearly genuine with visible landmarks and signs that show they were likely taken in Germany.

This graphic image shows a first responder standing outside the Olympia McDonalds attending to a victim — the Saturn electrical store next door can be seen in the background.

MUNICH SATURN

Twitter

AP Photo

German police arrive / AP

GERMANY-SHOOTING-MALL

Armed police cover the entrance to the Olympia U-Bahn station / Getty

Deaths Reported In Shooting at Munich Shopping Centre

Getty

Deaths Reported In Shooting at Munich Shopping Centre

Getty

Deaths Reported In Shooting at Munich Shopping Centre

Getty

 

UPDATE 1855 BST — Reports that Munich Police are dealing with multiple shootings — Mall and Metro station
Marienplatz Metro station in the centre of Munich is reported to be the location of a second shooting according to reports, although there are presently no confirmed reports of injuries.

Reports of a third shooting location in the city have not yet been confirmed.

UPDATE 1845 BST — Staff at mall are in hiding
Reuters are reporting that staff are still hiding out in the building, according to a member of staff who contacted the news agency by phone.
If so, events could evolve into a hostage situation, although there are currently no suggestions that that is the case.

UPDATE 1835 BST — Video claiming to show shooter posted to social media
A Twitter video showing a man with what appears to be a pistol shooting at bystanders also clearly shows a distinctively laid out branch of the McDonalds fast-food chain. Local images and Google Street View strongly suggests the video is in fact from Munich as claimed.

 

mcdonalds-1 Munich

The Hanauer Strasse McDonalds, directly opposite the Olympia Shopping Centre / Mux.de

UPDATE 1820 BST — Images of armed police on roof
Tweet pictures taken from neighbouring buildings to the Munich shopping mall at the centre of this evening’s apparent attack clearly show Germnan police officers in ordinary patrol dress — rather than armed response order — crouched and taking cover with weapons drawn on the car-park roof. The images may fuel speculation that there may still be an active shooter in the area.

A Munich police source is being reported on Britain’s Sky News as saying there was more than one shooter and there have not yet been any arrests.

UPDATE 1810 BST — Video emerges of situation outside the Munich Olympic Mall

UPDATE 1805 BST — Germans told to expect more terrorism
The attacks have come only 48 hours after a warning by German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere who claimed that Germans should prepare themselves for more terror attacks in the wake of the axe attack in Wuerzburg. “In Germany we must also expect attacks by small groups of radicalised ‘lone-wolf’ attackers,” he said. Read more at Breitbart London

MUNICH 1

UPDATE 1800 BST — Confused reports coming out of Munich
There may be an active shooter in the Munich shopping mall, with reports of between one and 15 casualties presently being reported in European media.

The story so far:

The gunshots were heard at the Olympiapark shopping centre in Munich and police have announced on twitter that anyone in the area should leave immediately.

A major police operation is currently underway as many witnesses are reporting a very large police presence in the area.

Unconfirmed reports are stating that there may be several casualties as at least one alleged witness has posted a picture of what appears to be injured victims, though there is still no word from Munich police.

The shopping mall is located in the old Olympic park which was built for the 1972 Olympics. The Munich Olympics is well known for being the site of the massacre of Israeli athletes by Palestinian gunmen.

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