(CN) — A manhunt was underway Friday for a shooter or shooters who opened fire at a shopping mall in Munich, Germany killing 8 and wounding 10, the Munich police said, describing the incident as “suspected terrorism.”
One gunman, who shouted “I am German” as he fired, has killed himself at the scene. That alleged statement has caused authorities to think the attack is not linked to the Islamic State group, but is instead a case of homegrown, right-wing terrorism.
Munich police spokeswoman Claudia Kuenzel said there are “several dead and wounded” at the Olympia Einkaufszentrum mall, where the attack started in a McDonald’s restaurant shortly before 6 p.m. local time.
Witnesses said they saw three gunmen open fire with “long rifles.”
However, Munich police spokesman Thomas Baumann told German news agency dpa law enforcement don’t know whether they were dealing with one or multiple shooters.
Kuenzel said “The shooter or shooters are still on the run” and the entire city has effectively been placed on lockdown. The city’s main train station was evacuated about an hour after the shooting in the mall.
At the White House President Barack Obama told reporters he’s been getting briefed on the shooting and the pursuit of the gunmen, but that the situation continues to unfold and “we don’t yet know exactly what’s happening.”
The president went on to called Germany a close ally and said the government will “pledge all the support that they may need” in the investigation.
Public broadcaster Bayrischer Rundfunk reported that shops in the center of Munich had closed with customers inside. Munich police urged people to avoid public places. “The situation is still unclear,” they said on Twitter.
An amateur video picked up by Sky News and other news outlets shows mall patrons fleeing the scene. It is currently unknown whether there was one or multiple shooters.
Both Suddeutsche Zeitung, Germany’s largest national daily newspaper, and the dpa news agency are reporting that police believe many people have died.
The area around the mall, which is located in the district of Moosach, has been sealed off.
Helicopers are flying over the area, and many shopper and store employees are said to be trapped inside.
This is the second attack in Germany in less than a week.
On Monday, a 17-year-old Afghan 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. – Developing story.
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