Nine people, many of them children, were killed and 21 others hurt in a Friday evening shooting near a shopping mall and a McDonald’s outlet in the German city of Munich.
Armed German police sprang into action and cordoned off the area and a nearby subway. They found a man who had shot himself dead.
According to reports, police confirmed that the man was the attacker and that he was the only attacker.
“The perpetrator was an 18-year-old German-Iranian from Munich,” police chief Hubertus Andrae told reporters after the rampage.
The police said that the unnamed attacker had no criminal record but held dual citizenship. Whether or not the attack was an act of terrorism has not been confirmed yet by German authorities.
The suspected attacker was captured on video.
Authorities found his body about a kilometre from the mall.
The man carried out the attack using a handgun. He rampaged through the mall while shooting.
Heavily armed police forces operate at Karlsplatz (Stachus) square. Andreas Gebert/dpa via AP
A video posted on social media appeared to show a man dressed in black walking away from a McDonald’s restaurant while firing repeatedly on people as they fled screaming.
The shooting began before 1600 GMT at the McDonald’s before moving into the Olympia centre – a few meters from the scene of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre.
Indian Prime Minister expressed his grief while India issued an advisory to its citizens in Munich.
French President Francois Hollande called the Munich shooting a “disgusting terrorist attack”.
Hollande, whose country was hit by two major terror attacks in eight months, said that Germany can count on France’s friendship and cooperation. “The terrorist attack that struck Munich killing many people is a disgusting act that aims to foment fear in Germany after other European countries,” Hollande said in a statement.
“Our hearts go out to those who may have been injured. It’s still an active situation, and Germany’s one of our closest allies, so we are going to pledge all the support that they may need in dealing with these circumstances,” Obama said. Transport services resumed after a partial shutdown. Earlier this week, an ISIS-inspired teenager had stabbed passengers on a train in Germany before he was shot dead by police.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is now under fire from anti-immigrant groups who blame the rising terror attacks in Europe on the influx of millions of immigrants from West Asia and North Africa.
Germany alone took in 1.1 million refugees last year. Meanwhile, Austria has tightened security along the border with Germany and put its elite Cobra police force on high alert.