As it happened: Munich shooter was German-Iranian teen, motive ‘unclear’, say police

  • Agencies, Munich
  • Updated: Jul 23, 2016 07:18 IST
A policeman secures an area around the shopping mall Olympia Einkaufzentrum OEZ in Munich after gunmen went on a shooting rampage in the busy shopping centre, killing eight people in a suspected terror attack. (AFP Photo)

Munich police said Saturday that the shooter in a deadly shopping mall rampage was an 18-year-old German-Iranian man whose motive was “completely unclear”.

“The perpetrator was an 18-year-old German-Iranian from Munich,” police chief Hubertus Andrae told reporters after the massacre Friday that left 10 people dead including the gunman.

Andrae said the shooter -- who opened fire at a busy shopping centre near the southern German city’s Olympic stadium before turning the gun on himself -- had dual citizenship and “no criminal record”.

His body was found about one kilometre from the mall.

Here are the updates:

6.45am: Munich Police revise number of people injured to 16.

6.24am: Munich Police’s press conference ends. Police chief says there is “no more danger”.

6.17am: The attacker had both German and Iranian citizenship, Munich Police say. Spokesperson confirms there are children among the injured.

6.15am: Police say 20 people have been injured in the Munich attack. Three people have “life-threatening” injuries.

6.10am: Munich Police chief says the attacker used a handgun, not a long-barrelled weapon.

6.08am: Munich Police say names of the victims will not be released until their families are informed.

A woman reacts following the shooting rampage at the Olympia shopping mall in Munich, Germany. (Reuters)

6.05am: Two people who left the shooting spot scene in a car at a high speed had nothing to do with the shootings, Munich Police say.

6.03am: The gunman had lived in Munich for a long time, police chief Hubertus Andra tells a press conference. The attacker had no previous criminal record.

6am: Munich Police say attacker was an 18-year-old German of Iranian descent; motive is unclear.

5.20am: Press conference by Munich Police to begin shortly.

5am: Munich Police give a “cautious all-clear”, say they found one person in connection with the attack who may have killed himself. There is a “high probability” that the person acted alone. Earlier reports spoke about the possibility of three gunmen.

4.53am: Munich police say there are 10 people dead, including one possible gunman.

4.51am: Munich Police tweet public transport services have been resumed.

4.50am: Here is quick wrap of what we know so far:

What happened?

Shooters armed with “long guns” opened fire at a McDonald’s restaurant and continued onto a street before entering the Olympia mall near the Olympic stadium in Munich.

Was it a terror attack?

A Munich police spokesperson told AFP they suspected “terrorism” in the rampage, while German news agency DPA quoted police as warning of an “acute terror situation”. The three attackers were still at large, fleeing in the direction of a nearby metro station, media reports said.

Train attacks

The violence comes just days after a teenage asylum seeker went on a rampage with an axe and a knife on a regional train in Germany on Monday, injuring five people, two of them critically.

4.05am: Unconfirmed German media reports say police may have found a car used by an attacker.

3.40am: Soon after public transport was halted, a Muslim newspaper in Germany said mosques in Munich would open all night for people who were unable to get home after the attack.

3.25am: Speaking outside the UN Security Council, British foreign secretary Boris Johnson says if this is another terrorist attack “then I think it proves once again that we have a global problem and a global sickness that we have to tackle.”

3.23am: Unconfirmed reports in local media say about 20 people are injured. Some of them critical.

3.15am: German chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff notes the attack in Munich has taken place on the anniversary of another massacre. Peter Altmaier told German public channel ARD that “today is the fifth anniversary of the terrible massacre in Norway, where young people, students were killed at will by a Norwegian citizen.”

Unverified footage appears to show the moment shots were fired in Munich.

2.58am: Witness Luan Zequiri tells the Germany broadcaster n-tv that he heard the attacker yell an anti-foreigner slur and “there was a really loud scream.” He said he saw only one attacker, who was wearing boots and a backpack. Zequiri says “I looked in his direction and he shot two people on the stairs.” He says he hid in a shop, then ran outside when the coast was clear and saw bodies of the dead and wounded on the ground.

2.56am: Chancellor Angela Merkel to convene German security council after Munich shootings: Spokesperson.

2.49am: Munich police spokesperson Marcus Martins says “according to my knowledge, we are looking for three suspects”.

2.48am: Germany cannot confirm that the shooting attack in Munich in which at least nine people were killed on Friday was an act of terrorism, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff said.

2.46am: German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere will return to Germany from his holiday in New York, where he landed on Friday evening.

2.15am: German president ‘horrified’ by ‘murderous attack’ in Munich.

2.12am: Munich police say they have found 9th body at shooting scene; checking to see if it was an attacker.

2.01pm: Death toll rises to 8 in shooting at Munich shopping mall, police spokesperson says.

A screen grab taken from video footage shows a covered body lying in a street following a shooting rampage at the Olympia shopping mall in Munich, Germany. (Reuters Photo)

1.57am: Members of Germany’s elite anti-terrorism force are on their way to the scene of the deadly shooting in Munich

1.55am: Germany’s interior minister has cut short his holiday in the United States to go back way to Berlin late Friday to meet with security officials

1.52am: German president says ‘horrified’ by ‘murderous attack’ in Munich

1.50am: Members of Germany’s elite anti-terrorism force are on their way to the scene of the deadly shooting in Munich.

1.30am: Munich police spokesman Marcus Martins tells AP they are aware of reports that a man has killed himself while he was being arrested, but said there is no confirmation of this yet.

1.09am: German magazine Focus cited police sources as saying one of the gunmen on the rampage had shot himself in the head and died.

1.00am: President Barack Obama is pledging to provide Germany with whatever help it may need to investigate the deadly shooting incident. Obama says “exactly what’s happening” in Munich is unclear.

12.40am: Supporters of the Islamic State militant group celebrated the shooting rampage on social media.

“Thank God, may God bring prosperity to our Islamic State men,” read one tweet in Arabic on an account that regularly favours the radical Islamist movement.

12.30am: Bavarian broadcaster BR says German patrol helicopters are on route to Munich.

12.25am: Munich Police are using the term “suspected terrorism” in connection with the shooting at the mall.

11.52pm: German public broadcaster BR reports 6 people have been killed at the mall shooting in Munich.

11.46pm: Main train station in Munich has been evacuated, says German rail operator

11.39pm: Munich Police says the situation is unclear, avoid public places and the subway

A screen grab taken from video footage shows plain clothes police officers at the scene of a shooting rampage at the Olympia shopping mall in Munich, Germany July 22, 2016. (REUTERS)

11.36pm: Three suspected gunmen in German shooting: police

11.35pm: There are reports of second shooting at a metro station

11.20pm: Sueddeutsche Zeitung paper says Munich’s transit system has shut down following shooting at a mall.

Munich Police ordered people on Friday to stay away from the large shopping mall.

Read | Doubts over Germany train attacker’s identity, may be from Pakistan

11.10pm: German news agency dpa says Munich Police is hunting shooter or shooters at mall. No one has been captured yet.

11.02pm: The Bild newspaper reported that the gunman ran through the mall near the Olympic stadium, firing on several people before fleeing in the direction of a nearby metro station.

10.52pm: Munich police says believes more than one shooter involved; no one taken into custody yet.

Read | German train attacker vowed ‘revenge on the infidels’

Munich Police spokesperson said, “We believe we are dealing with a shooting rampage.”

In this frame grab taken from video, people run from the Olympia Einkaufszentrum shopping centre after a shooting, in Munich, Germany, Friday, July 22, 2016. (AP Photo)

10.42pm: Munich Police confirm multiple deaths in shopping centre shooting

10.35pm: Germany’s Muencher Abendzeitung reported that up to 15 people were killed in the shooting.

10.31pm: An official at the Munich Olympia Shopping Centre declined comment, saying only, “We are experiencing a problem.”

10.30pm: One person is reported to be dead and 10 others have been injured.

The shooting comes just days after a teenage asylum seeker went on the rampage with an axe and a knife on a regional train in Germany, injuring five people.

Interior minister Thomas de Maiziere said the teenager was believed to be a “lone wolf” attacker who appeared to have been “inspired” by the Islamic State group but was not a member of the jihadist network.

It also follows a truck attack in the French Riviera city of Nice after Bastille Day fireworks last week that left 84 people dead.

Read | Nice attack premeditated, trucker Bouhlel had ‘clear interest’ in radical Islam

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