UPDATED: Police confirm that ten people were killed, including the shooter, and 16 wounded, in and around a Munich shopping mall Friday afternoon.
The shooting took place at the Olympia shopping center, in nearby locations in the northern part of Munich.
Though initially witnesses reported seeing three people with firearms, police said the gunman acted alone before killing himself.
President Barack Obama issued a statement Friday before a White House meeting. “We don’t yet know exactly what’s happening there, but obviously our hearts go out to those who may have been injured,” Obama said. “We are going to pledge all the support they may need.”
German media reports initially describe the attack as a rampage shooting by a perpetrator who fired randomly at shoppers and passers by. Police have indicated that a terrorist motive appears increasingly likely. Friday’s shooting comes a week after the Nice massacre that killed more than 80 people.
Munich police have closed off the area surrounding the shopping center, set up roadblocks and halted subway trains and other public transportation in an effort to corral the shooter or shooters and prevent their escape from the area, according to public broadcaster ARD news reports.
The emergency services received a call at about 6 p.m. local time reporting that a man had opened fire in a McDonald’s in the Olympia shopping mall in the Moosach district. Witnesses later told police there had been more than one attacker. A police spokeswoman said: “We believe we are dealing with a shooting rampage. We believe there was more than one perpetrator.”
The police have told people to stay indoors and avoid public places, and asked folks not to post photos or video of the police operation online. “Don’t support the attackers!,” a police tweet said.
The U.S. consulate in Munich has issued the following advice to U.S. citizens in the city: “Media is reporting shots fired at the Olympia shopping mall in Munich, Germany, resulting in casualties. There are subsequent reports of shots fired in other locations in Munich. There is a major police operation underway. Mass transit around the city is also reported to be halted during the police operation.
“U.S. citizens are advised to shelter in place pending police announcements that the situation is under control. Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.”
A second shooting reported in another part of the Bavarian city, Karlsplatz (known locally as Stachus), is believed to have been a false alarm. Security officials in the region have been on alert following an ax attack on a train earlier this week.