German TV station n-tv said the Bavarian interior ministry confirmed the death toll in an incident at the Olympia Einkaufszentrum shopping center Friday. Police said the suspects are still at large.
Multiple people were killed and wounded in a shooting at a shopping center in Munich on Friday, German police said. At least three people were confirmed to have been killed.
Shortly after the initial news came in, local officials said there were possibly several locations under attack, as well as multiple shooters. No one had yet been apprehended.
“We believe we are dealing with a shooting rampage,” a police spokeswoman told Reuters.
“There are several dead and injured,” a Munich police spokeswoman told AFP, adding that the shooting had started shortly before 6 p.m. local time at a McDonald’s restaurant. “The attacker, or several attackers, are apparently still at large.”
The Bild newspaper reported that a gunman ran through the mall near the Olympic stadium in the southern German city, firing on several people before fleeing in the direction of a nearby metro station.
The OEZ shopping center was surrounded by police and special forces, who were hunting for the attacker. Emergency vehicles were seen in the streets outside, as passers-by looked on.
“There is a major police operation under way in the shopping center,” Munich police said on Twitter, urging people to avoid the area.
“Attention — avoid the neighbourhood around the OEZ. Stay in your homes. Leave the street,” a Munich police tweet said.
Police also urged people not to post images or videos of the activities of security forces. “Don’t support the attackers!” a tweet said.
The mall is located near the Olympic stadium used in the 1972 games, where Palestinian terrorists abducted and later killed 11 Israeli athletes.
A video posted online purported to show civilians fleeing the scene of the attack.
“Many shots were fired, I can’t say how many but it’s been a lot,” a mall employee told the local NTV, according to the Guardian.
“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.”
It was the second attack in the German city this week. On Wednesday night a teenager went on an ax rampage on a German train, injuring five people — two of them critically.
It was not clear whether the attacker, Riaz Khan Ahmadzai, was Afghan or Pakistani.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the teenager was believed to be a “lone wolf” attacker who appeared to have been “inspired” by the Islamic State group but was not a member of the jihadist network.
“This is perhaps a case that lies somewhere between a crazed rampage and terrorism,” de Maiziere told reporters.
He said investigators were still trying to determine the true identity of the 17-year-old who was shot dead by police following the train attack.
The Islamic State group released a video Tuesday purportedly featuring the assailant announcing in Pashto he would carry out an “operation” in Germany, and presenting himself as a “soldier of the caliphate.”
Security service sources think he might have pretended to be Afghan on arrival in Germany in 2015 in order to have a better chance of securing asylum, ZDF public television reported.
Authorities on Tuesday found a hand-painted IS flag and what they called a suicide letter addressed to his father among the attacker’s belongings.
Federal prosecutors said in a statement they would probe the extent of the teenager’s links with IS.
Locals described the assailant as “calm and even-keeled” and a “devout Muslim who did not appear to be radical or a fanatic”, according to Joachim Herrmann, interior minister of Bavaria state.
Police, however, said he wrote in the letter that the world’s Muslims “must defend themselves.
“Now pray for me that I can take revenge on non-believers, pray for me that I can get to heaven,” the note said.
Authorities said he shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) three times as he rampaged through the carriage.