Munich Massacre Leaves Nine Dead, More Wounded
Police reported late Friday night that a single shooter had committed suicide
A shooting rampage at a Munich shopping mall left as many as nine dead and more wounded. After hours of conflicting reports and calls for residents to shelter in place that left Germany’s third-largest city a ghost town Friday evening, police said the shooter is also dead of self-inflicted wounds.
— Polizei München (@PolizeiMuenchen) July 22, 2016
The Olympia-Einkaufszentrum mall in Munich was sealed off around 6 pm on Friday afternoon, after police responded to reports of shots fired. Authorities asked that people avoid public places and transportation systems, and a massive police presence deployed throughout the city into the late hours of Friday. Early reports were chaotic, suggesting multiple shooters at large, before police confirmed there was just one assailant, who is now dead.
The shooter’s identity and motivations remain unclear. There are no indications the man is linked to ISIS or any terror groups, but ISIS supporters began celebrating the news on social media just moments after the news broke. “Please let [the attacker] be one of our brothers,” one poster wrote.
A video circulated widely on social media shows a man—allegedly the shooter—in front of a McDonald’s restaurant Vocativ was able to confirm that the video’s geotag matches the location of the mall where the shooting reportedly took place.
Facebook initiated its Safety Check feature in Munich, which allows users to alert their friends and family that they’re safe. The feature was created to deal with the aftermath of natural disasters, but has increasingly been used for terrorism and attacks.
Germany has been on high alert since Monday, when a young man armed with an axe attacked passengers on a train in Bavaria before he was shot dead by police. The terror group ISIS later claimed credit for the attack, though it’s not believed they had any role in its planning or execution.
This is a developing story; check back for updates.