A teen gunman who killed nine people and injured 27 others in Munich had no links to Islamic State, police have said, according to reports. In a news conference on Saturday morning, the attack was described as a “classic shooting rampage” and not terrorism.
Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae said 18-year-old David Ali Sonboly’s room had been searched, telling reporters: “Based on the searches, there are no indications whatsoever that there is a connection to Islamic State.”
Mr Andrae also said the German-Iranian attacker had “no link whatsoever to the topic of refugees”. During the search, investigators found literature about mass killings, including a book called: “Rampage in Head: Why Students Kill.” “The perpetrator was obviously obsessed with the issue,” Mr Andrae said.
Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said: “The fifth anniversary of the Breivik massacre (in Norway) yesterday ought to be considered as a motivation.” Police investigator Robert Heimberger said it appeared the teenager had hacked into a Facebook account and lured people to a shopping centre with an offer of free food.
The posting had been sent from a young woman’s account. It urged people to arrive at the centre at 4 pm, saying: “I’ll give you something if you want, but not too expensive.” Investigators said Sonboly, who was born and raised in Munich, had received psychiatric care and been treated for depression.
Neighbours described him as a quiet, helpful teenager who liked playing video games. He had no licence for the 9mm Glock pistol he carried along with 300 bullets in a backpack. The handgun’s serial number had been filed off. Prosecutors said he did not have a criminal record.
Seven of the victims were teenagers, police said. Three of the nine killed were Turkish citizens. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu named them as Sevda Dag, Can Leyla and Selcuk Kilic. Greece’s foreign ministry said a Greek man had also been killed.
Of the 27 hurt, 10 were seriously injured. Four of those injured had gunshot wounds. During the attack, police said they received more than 4,000 emergency calls. It is understood the attacker later shot himself in the head, taking his own life. His body was found on a side street near the mall, about two-and-a-half hours after the assault.
Anti-terror robots examined the backpack for explosives. The gunman began shooting at a McDonald’s restaurant in Hanauer Street near the Olympic Park, before moving to the Olympia-Einkaufszentrum mall. A woman named Loretta said she was in the restaurant when the pistol-wielding suspect came out of a bathroom and began shooting.
She told CNN: “I come out of the toilet and I hear like an alarm, boom, boom, boom. “He’s killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can’t run.” Witness Luan Zequiri said he was near the McDonald’s when the shooting began. He told German broadcaster n-tv that he heard the attacker yell an anti-foreigner insult and “there was a really loud scream”.
Mr Zequiri said he saw only one attacker, who was wearing jack boots and a backpack. “I looked in his direction and he shot two people on the stairs,” he said. In a conversation between the gunman and someone on a balcony, the attacker can be heard shouting: “I am German… I was born here.”
Employees and customers barricaded themselves inside shops as the attack took place, while more than 2,000 police flooded the area. Video footage shows shoppers filing through the mall under police guard with their arms raised before lying down on the ground.
Several highways north of Munich were also sealed off by police. Speaking on Saturday afternoon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said security services would “do everything possible to protect the security and freedom of all people in Germany”.
French President Francois Hollande called the attack “a disgusting act that aims to foment fear in Germany after other European countries. “Germany will resist. It can count on France’s friendship and cooperation.” It was the second attack in Germany in less than a week.
On Monday, a 17-year-old Afghan wounded four people in an axe and knife attack on a train near the Bavarian city of Wuerzburg.