As new details emerge about the Munich shopping center shooting, a picture is being pieced together about the teen gunman who shot and killed nine people and injured at least 27 more before turning the gun on himself at Olympia shopping center early Friday evening.
The gunman, who has been identified as German-born 18-year-old Ali Sonboly, was reportedly bullied throughout much of his school life and had a history of threatening to kill those who had bullied him in the past. He was reportedly “obsessed with shooting rampages,” says Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae, as well as with Anders Behring Breivik, the far-right extremist who slaughtered 77 people in Norway exactly five years ago Friday — the same day Sonboly chose to carry out his own shooting rampage, reports the Los Angeles Times.
In his home, investigators found documents relating to a 2009 school shooting in Bavaria that claimed the lives of 16 teenagers, along with the book Why Kids Kill: Inside The Minds of School Shooters by Dr. Peter Langman.
Prior to the Munich shopping center shooting, the teen gunman allegedly hacked a young woman’s Facebook account and posted a status inviting young people to meet “her” at the McDonald’s restaurant beside the shopping mall, offering to buy them anything they wanted “as long as it’s not too expensive” if they showed up.
Just before 6 p.m. local time, the teen loaded his gun in the bathroom of the McDonald’s, stepped into the restaurant, and began shooting. Of the nine people killed during the Munich shopping center shooting, seven of them were teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18. Five teens who met at the restaurant for a bite to eat were the first to be shot. Two boys of Turkish origin, 14-year-old Can Leyla and 15-year-old Selcuk Kilic, as well as 14-year-old Kosovan girls Sabina Sulaj and Armela Segashi, were killed. A fifth unnamed member of the group was critically injured.
Dilan Demir, who was at the McDonald’s when the shooting spree occurred, described the scene in a Facebook post.
“I was close to the scene and was hiding with a friend. When it was very quiet we got up and saw five people. They looked dead, one of them was him [Selcuk]. He lay with his head on the table. His two other friends, and two girls, lay on the floor.”
Eighteen-year-old Guilliano Kollman fled the McDonald’s after hearing the initial gunshots but was gunned down outside the restaurant. Another teenager, 17-year-old Hussein Daitzik, was shot and killed while heroically trying to save his sister’s life. He was shot twice in the back after pushing his sister out of the path of the deranged gunman. Hussein’s father reportedly suffered a heart attack upon hearing of his son’s fate and was transported to a hospital to receive care.
In the aftermath of the deadly Munich shopping center shooting, Sonboly was filmed on the rooftop of a nearby car park in the middle of a screaming match with 57-year-old Thomas Salbey, who spotted Sonboly on the car park rooftop while sitting on his balcony drinking a beer. During the exchange of words, Sonboly screamed that he was of German descent and that had been bullied for years. He also admitted that he had spent some time in a mental institution. According to the Telegraph, Salbey threw his beer bottle at Sonboly as the teen reloaded his gun and took aim at the apartment balcony where Salbey was sitting.
“I was drinking a beer after work when I heard the shots, first at McDonald’s. Bam bam bam – that’s how it sounded. Then I looked down from the balcony and saw him running along. As he reloaded his gun I got my beer bottle and threw it at him.”
Following the Munich shopping center shooting, the city went into lockdown, with some 2,300 police officers — both local and from nearby Austria — combing the streets for the gunman. Sonboly’s body was later found about a half-mile from the shopping center. Though early reports suggested the Munich rampage was a potential terrorist attack, evidence shows that it was simply the work of a depressed, mentally unstable teenager wanting to hurt those that he perceived had hurt him.
[Photo by Kerstin Joensson/AP Images]