10 including suspect dead in Munich shooting spree
Berlin, July 23 (IANS) Police in German city of Munich said a total of 10 people have died, including the gunman who opened fire near Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall in the Moosach district of Munich on Friday evening.
Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae told reporters early Saturday that the man who killed nine people and injured several others in a shooting rampage at a mall in the German city of Munich has committed suicide when he encountered police and was likely a lone shooter.
“We found a man, who killed him himself. We assume, that he was the only shooter. #gunfire #munich,” the police had tweeted earlier.
A total of 21 people were injured, he said, including three who were in serious condition.
The police chief said that the gunman was 18-year-old Iranian from Munich who had been living in Munich for longer than two years, CNN reported.
“Police don’t believe the gunman, an 18-year-old German-Iranian, had any accomplices,” he noted.
The motive for the shootings was unclear, the police president said, adding that 2,300 law enforcement officials responded to the incident, BBC reported.
Police had declared a terror alarm for south Germany after shooting.
Munich’s main train station was evacuated completely and the city’s transport system was suspended.
People had offered space to the stranded people in their own homes on social media, using the hashtag #Offenetuer — which means “open door” — for people who are stranded without a way to get home, BBC reported.
Muslim newspaper in Germany, Islamische Zeitung, tweeted that mosques in Munich would stay open overnight for anyone who needs refuge.
The Czech Republic’s interior minister, Milan Chovanec, had told local television that the country’s border was reinforced in case the Munich attacker or attackers tried to flee, German broadcaster NTV reported.
A state of emergency was declared in Munich and special operations are still underway.
Reports of shooting at the Marienplatz station in Munich also made rounds in the media.
Reports also say a gunman opened fire in Stachus Square, Munich’s main square just three miles away from the Munich Olympia centre.
Terrified shoppers were seen running for their lives from the Munich Olympia Shopping Centre after hearing gunshots.
A video purporting to show the shooter, dressed in black, firing 20 shots has been posted on Twitter. The footage shows him outside a McDonald’s directly outside the shopping centre.
The area around the Munich Olympia Shopping Centre was sealed off and the police had told people to stay at home and avoid the streets.
The anti-terror special unit of the federal police was deployed to the city. Border patrol helicopters were deployed to hunt for the attackers.
The authorities had warned of the danger of further attacks.
The shopping mall is located next to the Olympic Stadium in the city where 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were murdered by the Black September Palestinian militant group during the Olympic Games in 1972.
The President of Germany, Joachim Gauck, said that he was “horrified” by the shooting in Munich.
In a statement, Mr Gauck said: “I am with all the victims in my thoughts and all those who are mourning or fearful for loved ones.”
He also offered his “solidarity” to people in the emergency services who are working this evening, trying to “protect people and save lives”.
US President Barack Obama on Friday pledged support to Germany in the wake of the shooting rampage.
The US has also issued an advisory for its citizens in Germany asking them to maintain a high level of vigilance and take steps to enhance personal security.
President Obama, who was briefed about the attack on the Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall, said, “We don’t yet know exactly what’s happening there, but obviously our hearts go out to those who may have been injured. We are going to pledge all the support they may need.”
Democratic presidential nominee for the US elections Hillary Clinton condemned the shooting.
Hillary said that she is “monitoring the horrific situation in Munich”.
“We stand with our friends in Germany as they work to bring those responsible to justice,” she tweeted.
The police president also said that two people seen fleeing the scene in a vehicle were initially considered to be suspects.
According to CNN, “On the basis of witness reports and CCTV footage” a man found dead near the scene is considered to be the suspect. Police currently believe nobody else was involved.