Sunday 23 October 2016

Boom boom boom - he's killing children. They're sitting to eat. They can't run away

Police officers guard with guns as they escort people while responding to a shooting at the Olympia Einkaufzentrum (OEZ) in Munich Photo: Joerg Koch/Getty Images
Police officers guard with guns as they escort people while responding to a shooting at the Olympia Einkaufzentrum (OEZ) in Munich Photo: Joerg Koch/Getty Images

Nine people have been killed, possibly including the gunman, in a shopping centre shooting in Munich.

An unknown number of others were injured after multiple shots were fired on Hanauer Street before the attack moved to the Olympia Einkaufszentrum shopping centre in the southern German city at about 6pm yesterday.

It remained unclear last night whether other attackers were on the run, after reports that at least three gunmen were involved.

Unverified video footage app-eared to show a man opening fire on people outside a McDonald's restaurant near the shopping centre.

A woman named Loretta said she was in the McDonald's when a man with a gun came out of a toilet and began shooting.

She told CNN: "I come out of the bathroom and I hear like an alarm, boom, boom, boom. He's killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can't run away."

In another video, a man can be heard yelling at the suspect in the car park, calling him a "w***er" and an "a******e" and yelling: "Put your gun down."

Witness Luan Zequiri said he was at the scene when the shooting broke out.


He said he heard the attacker yell an anti-foreigner slur and "there was a really loud scream".

"I looked in his direction and he shot two people on the stairs," he said.

He hid in a shop, then ran outside when the coast was clear and saw bodies of the dead and wounded on the ground.

Police urged people to avoid public places and said they could not confirm if there were other crime scenes apart from Hanauer Street.

The force also tweeted: "Please don't take Fotos or Video of Police Action in order to avoid any helpful Information for the suspects."

The city was placed under a state of emergency.

"We are telling the people of Munich there are shooters on the run who are dangerous," a police spokesman said earlier. "We are urging people to stay indoors."

Munich newspaper TZ said one of the shooters was dead. German news magazine Focus said a gunman had shot himself in the head.

As special forces deployed in the city, some people remained holed up in the Olympia shopping centre, which police said had been evacuated.

"Many shots were fired, I can't say how many but it's been a lot," said a shop worker hiding in a store room inside the mall.

It was the third major act of violence against civilians in western Europe in eight days. Previous attacks in France and Germany were claimed by the Islamic State militant group.

A police spokesman said there was no immediate indication that yesterday's bloodshed was an Islamist attack.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff Peter Altmaier said: "We cannot rule out that it is linked to terrorism but we can't confirm it either, but we are also investigating in this direction."

He added that the security cabinet would hold a meeting today.

Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of the massacre by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway in which he killed 77 people.

Breivik is a hero for far-right militants in Europe and America.

Norwegian foreign minister Borge Brende said on Twitter: "Horrible killings in Munich. Taking place on the same day as we mourn & remember the terror that hit Norway so hard five years ago."

US President Barack Obama pledged support for Germany.

"We don't yet know exactly what's happening there, but obviously our hearts go out to those who may have been injured," Obama said.


There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but supporters of Islamic State celebrated on social media.

Two witnesses told n-tv television that they saw a man dressed as Santa Claus walking away from the scene of the shooting with a crowd of people.

One said the man had blonde hair and was not carrying a weapon but had a suitcase.

A worker at a shop in the mall, Harun Balta, said: "We are still stuck inside the mall. We're waiting and praying for the police to come and rescue us."

Witnesses had seen shooting both inside the mall and on nearby streets, he said.

Munich's main railway station was also evacuated.

BR television said many highways north of the city had been shut down.

The shopping centre is next to the Munich Olympic stadium, where Palestinian militant group Black September took 11 Israeli athletes hostage and eventually killed them during the 1972 Olympic Games.

Yesterday's attack took place a week after a 17-year-old asylum-seeker wounded passengers on a German train with an axe. Bavarian police shot dead the teenager after he wounded four people from Hong Kong.

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas told Bild newspaper yesterday before the mall attack that there was "no reason to panic, but it's clear that Germany is a possible target".

The incidents in Germany follow an attack in Nice, France, on Bastille Day in which a Tunisian drove a truck into crowds, killing 84 people. Islamic State claimed responsibility.

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