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Munich Shooting Rampage: What We Know


Ten people are dead in Munich and 27 people injured after a gunman opened fire on a mall yesterday and later shot himself. German police say the shooter was an 18-year-old student who'd been under psychiatric care. Police believe the German-Iranian teenager acted alone and had no links to the so-called Islamic State or any other terrorist group. NPR's Daniel Estrin is in Munich and joins us now.

Thanks for being with us, Daniel.

DANIEL ESTRIN, BYLINE: You're welcome.

SIMON: You've just been to a press conference by authorities there in Munich. What do they say?

ESTRIN: Well, they said that the shooting happened at 6:00 p.m. But shortly before that - at some time before that, the 18-year-old shooter posted a call on Facebook - possibly hacking into someone else's Facebook account - inviting people to come to a McDonald's near the largest mall in Munich and that they'd be treated to free food if it weren't too expensive. And then at 6:00 p.m., he began shooting outside the McDonald's. He then went into a parking structure there. It's unclear what happened, if there was more shooting.

At a different point, he had an exchange with a bystander. And this was caught on camera and verified by police. The bystander said curses at him, including a curse word referring to a foreigner. And the shooter replied, I am German. And then in the end, he was found with a single bullet wound. He had shot himself in the head.

SIMON: And other than his suicide and his action yesterday, what do we know about the history of this gunman?

ESTRIN: Well, he was 18 years old, as we said. He was born and raised in Munich. He has dual German and Iranian citizenship. And the police commissioner today said that there's no indication he or this attack had anything to do with the Islamic State group or other radical groups. He said this was not connected to the refugee situation. Germany has let in more than a million and a half war refugees and migrants, mostly from the Middle East in recent years. He had newspaper clippings of shooting rampages in his house, in his apartment. Police are still checking his computer. But they're calling it a, quote, "classic shooting rampage."

SIMON: And what do we know about the nine people who were killed at the mall?

ESTRIN: We know that the majority of them were teenagers. There are also reports from Turkish authorities that some of them were of Turkish descent.

SIMON: We will learn more presumably in the next few days.

Munich was shut down. What's the city like today?

ESTRIN: It really seems like it's getting back to normal. Most of the public transportation lines are back up and running. People are in the main square. They're shopping. When I checked into my hotel, there were security guards at the front checking people's bags. The hotel management said that last night people ran into the hotel. There were some shooting scares around different parts of the city. There was no shooting in the end there. But - so there - it feels like things are getting back to normal. And there are different signs that there was pandemonium here yesterday.

SIMON: NPR's Daniel Estrin in Munich. Thanks so much.

ESTRIN: Thanks. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.