(Reuters/Hamodia/AP) – Gunmen went on a shooting rampage in a shopping mall in the southern German city of Munich on Friday, in what Munich police say they suspect is a terror attack.
According to reports, there wereat least three gunmen involved, one of whom possibly then killed himself.
Police said eight people were killed and an unknown number of others were wounded. Munich police spokesman Marcus Martins later said a ninth body had been found and police were “intensively examining” whether it might be one of the suspects.
Later reports said there were subsequent shootings in other areas of the city, including the Stachus metro station and town square, though those reports have not been confirmed. The Munich train station is being evacuated, and police are warning people to shelter in place. Police are urging the public to stay off the streets, as the city is on a virtual lockdown.
Authorities were evacuating people from the Olympia mall but many others were hiding inside.
“Many shots were fired, I can’t say how many but it’s been a lot,” the employee hiding in the mall, who declined to be identified, told Reuters by telephone. “All the people from outside came streaming into the store and I only saw one person on the ground who was so severely injured that he definitely didn’t survive.” “We have no further information, we’re just staying in the back in the storage rooms. No police have approached us yet.”
Munich transport authorities said they had halted several bus, train and tram lines. Bavarian broadcaster BR says that police have asked people to leave highways near Munich.
The shopping center is next to the Munich Olympic stadium, where the Palestinian militant group Black September took 11 Israeli athletes hostage and eventually killed them during the 1972 Olympic Games.
Friday’s attack took place a week after a 17-year-old asylum-seeker wounded passengers on a German train in an axe rampage. Bavarian police shot dead the teenager after he wounded four people from Hong Kong on the train and injured a local resident while fleeing.
On Friday morning, the Bild newspaper had a quote from German Justice Minister Heiko Maas saying that there was “no reason to panic but it’s clear that Germany remains 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. Islamic State also claimed responsibility for that attack.
Friday is also the five-year anniversary of the massacre by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway. Breivik is a hero for far-right extremists in Europe and America.
Updated Friday, July 22, 2016 at 5:20 pm