Wed | Jul 15, 2020

Munich attacker planned shooting for a year

Published:Sunday | July 24, 2016 | 12:00 AM
On Sunday, people mourn beside the Olympia shopping centre in Munich, Germany, where a shooting took place on Friday, leaving nine people dead. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)


The teenager behind the deadly shooting rampage at a Munich mall had planned his attack for a year and chose his victims at random, investigators said Sunday.

Bavarian investigator Robert Heimberger said the shooter, an 18-year-old German-Iranian identified only as David S, visited the site of a previous school shooting in the German town of Winnenden and took photographs last year, then set about planning Friday's attack in which he killed nine people and wounded some three dozen others before taking his own life.

"He had been planning this crime since last summer," Heimberger told reporters. There is so far no evidence that the shooter knew any of his victims, or that there was any political motivation behind the attack, said Thomas Steinkraus-Koch, of the Munich prosecutors' office.

The suspect received both inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment last year to help him deal with "fears of contact with others," Steinkraus-Koch added. He said medication had been found at his home but that investigators needed to talk with his family to determine whether he had been taking it.

Heimberger said there were "many more terabytes" of information to evaluate, and that the teenager's brother and parents were still not emotionally up to being interrogated by police.

Heimberger said the McDonald's restaurant were most of the victims died was a hangout for youths with an immigrant background. He identified those who died as being of Hungarian, Turkish, Greek, and Kosovo Albanian background and said one was stateless. Witnesses say the attacker shouted anti-foreigner slogans, even though his parents came to Germany seeking asylum decades ago.

In the aftermath of Friday's attack, Bavaria's top security official urged a constitutional change to allow the country's military to be able to be deployed in support of police during attacks. Because of the excesses of the Nazi era, Germany's post-war constitution only allows the military, known as the Bundeswehr, to be deployed domestically in cases of national emergency.

But state Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the regulations are now obsolete and that Germans have a "right to safety."