The 18-year-old gunman who shot dead nine people at a shopping center in Munich on Friday was reportedly obsessed with mass shootings. It is believed that he planned the attack for a year before actually executing it. The Washington Post also confirmed that the gunman had absolutely no ties to the Islamic State or other extremist groups. In fact, the Munich gunman was apparently inspired by a similar shooting that took place in 2009 in a school in the German town of Winnenden, in which a 17-year-old shot down 15 of his fellow students and teachers. The German police found photographs of the town — where the deadly shooting of 2009 occurred — in the gunman’s phone.
Munich gunman who killed nine people on Friday had been planning his attack for a year, police say https://t.co/Q5QpYYd3jZ— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) July 24, 2016
Talking at a press conference on Sunday, Robert Heimberger, president of the Bavarian state criminal police office, said, “He appeared to have planned this act since last summer. He completely occupied himself with this act of rampage.” Heimberger also confirmed at the press conference that the Munich gunman purchased the 9mm Glock 17, the pistol used to carry out this heinous act, via the “Darknet.”
The “Darknet” is a part of the internet where users can buy restricted items like pornography, ideas, files, weapons, and drugs. To do this, users have to use a special encryption software. Regular search engines cannot be used on the “Darknet.” The police is still trying to ascertain how the assailant obtained the 300 rounds of ammunition found in his rucksack.
The German police searched the Munich gunman’s family apartment and recovered electronic data and written materials, like documents. All these evidences suggest that the gunman was indeed fascinated by shooting rampage, and that he really had no affiliation with the Islamic State or any other political connection. The items that were recovered includes the book “Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters,” translated into German.
Talking to the media, Munich police chief, Hubertus Andrae, said, “He was very intensely interested in the subject. It was a classic act by a deranged person.”
The German officials also stated at the press conference that the gunman was under psychiatric care in a hospital for two months in 2015. Documents retrieved from his apartment mention that he was suffering from mental illness, including depression and anxiety. During the search, the police found some medication meant for these symptoms. They are trying to find out if the gunman was actually taking it. Additionally, the gunman has had a history of being bullied in 2012. Furthermore, he was also an avid fan of the Counter-Strike, according to the officials.
While the German police hasn’t revealed the name of the Munich gunman — apart from the fact that he is 18-years-old and has dual German and Iranian nationality — neighbors of the teenager, who live next to the apartment where the police conducted a search, told CNN that his name was Ali Sonboly. This name was also reported by the German media.
CNN reports that the assailant lured the victims to the attack site using a fake Facebook account. It reported that he used the account to lure people to McDonald’s by offering them free food. Incidentally, McDonald’s was the first place that the assailant opened fire. Earlier, it was being believed that he may have hacked another person’s Facebook account, but the police clarified on Sunday that it was an entirely fake account created from scratch by the assailant.
The victims of the Munich shooting were mostly teens — aged between 14 and 19. Two older people, a 20-year-old and another 45-year-old, were also killed. Officials confirmed that all the victims were German nationals, and three people, from those who lost their lives, were also Turkish citizens. Another one of the victims was a Greek citizen. In addition to those who lost their lives tragically in the shooting, 27 others were also injured, some very seriously.
[Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images]