An 18-year-old gunman who apparently acted alone has opened fire in a busy shopping mall in Munich, killing at least nine people in the third attack against civilians in Western Europe in eight days.
The pistol-wielding attacker, identified by Munich Police Chief Hubertus Andrae as a German-Iranian dual national, was later found dead, having taken his own life.
Earlier police, citing eyewitness accounts, had said they were looking for up to three suspects in the shooting attack at the Munich Olympia Shopping Centre (OEZ) that sent shoppers running for their lives and shut traffic across the city.
But early Saturday (local time), a Munich police spokesman said it was now believed it was likely only one man was responsible for the shooting.
“We can give a cautious ‘all-clear signal,'” a police spokesman told reporters.
“It looks like the body found near the OEZ was the gunman.”
Authorities had told the public to get off the streets as the city — Germany’s third biggest — went into lockdown with transport halted and highways sealed off.
A video posted online, the authenticity of which could not be confirmed, showed a man dressed in black outside a McDonalds by the roadside, drawing a handgun and shooting towards members of the public.
The Bavarian capital was placed under a state of emergency as police hunted for the suspected attackers and special forces were deployed in the city.
“We are urging people to stay indoors.”
In addition to the nine killed, police said at least 10 were wounded, three seriously. About 100 people witnessed the shooting.
A 10th body found about 1 kilometre from the scene was later determined to be the likely gunman.
German radio station Bayerischer Rundfunk said the man had a red backpack similar to one used by a gunman seen at a McDonald’s restaurant, where the attack began.
It said police were using a robot to investigate the backpack.
At the height of the incident, people in the Olympia shopping centre either fled or sought to hide.
“Many shots were fired, I can’t say how many but it’s been a lot,” a shop worker hiding in a store room inside the mall said.