Munich shut down as suspects in fatal shooting remain at large
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Munich shut down as suspects in fatal shooting remain at large

At least 9 people killed in suspected terror attack; police say one assailant may be dead at the scene; residents told to remain indoors

  • Police sign blocks the entrance to Odeon square following shootings at a shopping mall earlier on July 22, 2016 in Munich. (AFP Photo/dpa/Sven Hoppe)
    Police sign blocks the entrance to Odeon square following shootings at a shopping mall earlier on July 22, 2016 in Munich. (AFP Photo/dpa/Sven Hoppe)
  • Police secures the entrance to a subway station near a shopping mall where a shooting took place on July 22, 2016 in Munich. Several people were killed on Friday in a shooting rampage by a lone gunman in a Munich shopping center, media reports said. (Lukas Schulze/DPA/AFP)
    Police secures the entrance to a subway station near a shopping mall where a shooting took place on July 22, 2016 in Munich. Several people were killed on Friday in a shooting rampage by a lone gunman in a Munich shopping center, media reports said. (Lukas Schulze/DPA/AFP)
  • Police secures the area near a shopping mall following a shooting on July 22, 2016 in Munich. Several people were killed on Friday in a shooting rampage by a lone gunman in a Munich shopping center, media reports said. (Matthias Balk/DPA/AFP)
    Police secures the area near a shopping mall following a shooting on July 22, 2016 in Munich. Several people were killed on Friday in a shooting rampage by a lone gunman in a Munich shopping center, media reports said. (Matthias Balk/DPA/AFP)
  • German police walk near a shopping mall in Munich during a shooting attack that left nine people dead on July 22, 2016. (Matthias Balk/DPA/AFP)
    German police walk near a shopping mall in Munich during a shooting attack that left nine people dead on July 22, 2016. (Matthias Balk/DPA/AFP)
  • Police and firefighters are seen near a shopping mall amid a shooting on July 22, 2016 in Munich. (AFP PHOTO / dpa / Matthias Balk)
    Police and firefighters are seen near a shopping mall amid a shooting on July 22, 2016 in Munich. (AFP PHOTO / dpa / Matthias Balk)
  • Police secures the area inside a shopping center in Munich on July 22, 2016 following a shooting.
At least one person has been killed and 10 wounded in a shooting at a shopping centre in Munich on Friday, German police said. (AFP PHOTO / STR)
    Police secures the area inside a shopping center in Munich on July 22, 2016 following a shooting. At least one person has been killed and 10 wounded in a shooting at a shopping centre in Munich on Friday, German police said. (AFP PHOTO / STR)
  • Police secures the area outside a shopping center in Munich on July 22, 2016 following a shooting attack. (AFP PHOTO/STR)
    Police secures the area outside a shopping center in Munich on July 22, 2016 following a shooting attack. (AFP PHOTO/STR)
  • Police cars stand in front of a main train station following shootings at a shopping mall earlier on July 22, 2016 in Munich. (AFP PHOTO / dpa / Andreas Gebert)
    Police cars stand in front of a main train station following shootings at a shopping mall earlier on July 22, 2016 in Munich. (AFP PHOTO / dpa / Andreas Gebert)

Munich police warned people to stay inside and avoid public places Friday as they hunted for the shooter or shooters who opened fire at a shopping mall, killing at least nine people and wounding others in a rampage they described as suspected terrorism.

“At the moment no culprit has been arrested,” police in the Bavarian capital said on social media. “The search is taking place at high speed.”

Germany’s elite GSG9 anti-terror police, as well as federal police, were called in to help.

The German news agency dpa reported that bomb experts were checking the body of a man found about a kilometer away from the Munich shooting scene for possible explosives.

A backpack was found on the body, which is now being examined. Police have said they’re trying to determine if the body is that of a shooter.

Witnesses reported seeing three men with firearms near the Olympia Einkaufszentrum mall. A Munich police spokesman said police were aware of media reports that a man killed himself as officers closed in. He told reporters that the dead body of a man had been found near the shopping center and investigators were trying to determine whether he was one of the assailants.

“The possibility that this was someone involved in the crime is currently being closely examined,” he said.

The city sent a smartphone alert telling people to stay indoors and German rail company Deutsche Bahn stopped train traffic to Munich’s main station.

The attack started at a fast food restaurant shortly before 6 p.m. local time, police spokesman Thomas Baumann told German news agency dpa.

A video posted online purported to show civilians fleeing the scene of the attack.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9_TOHxVEzI

Video obtained by The Associated Press from German news agency NonstopNews showed two bodies with sheets draped over them not far from a McDonald’s across from the mall.

A video appeared to show the shooter opening fire at civilians outside the fast food restaurant.

Warning: Images may be disturbing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh8QCMoFvus

Germany’s Interior Ministry said Munich police had set up a hotline for concerned citizens. On Twitter, police asked people to refrain from speculating on the attack. Germany’s interior minister cut short his holiday in the United States to go back to Berlin late Friday to meet with security officials.

Bayrischer Rundfunk reported that shops in the center of Munich had closed with customers inside though police said reports of shots fired at a location downtown had been a false alarm.

Police responded in large numbers to the mall in the northern part of Munich, not far from the city’s Olympic Stadium in the Moosach district of the Bavarian capital.

It was also not far from the Olympic stadium used in the 1972 games, where Palestinian terrorists abducted and later killed 11 Israeli athletes.

Residents of the city were offering their homes on social media to people in need of a safe location off the streets, using the hashtag #OffeneTür (Open Door).

It was the second attack in Germany in less than a week. On Monday, a 17-year-old teen wounded four people in an ax-and-knife attack on a regional train near the Bavarian city of Wuerzburg, and another woman outside as he fled. All survived, although one man from the train remains in life-threatening condition. The attacker was shot and killed by police.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the train attack, but authorities have said the teen likely acted alone.

Munich police called the mall shooting “suspected terrorism” in a statement but did not elaborate on who might have been behind it.

In the US, President Barack Obama pledged to provide Germany with whatever help it might need to investigate the mall shooting.

German President Joachim Gauck said he was “horrified” by the “murderous attack” in Munich.

“I am with all the victims in my thoughts and all those who are mourning or fearful for loved ones,” he said in a statement, adding that his “solidarity” was with emergency services personnel trying to “protect people and save lives.”

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