Did Munich killer lure children to their deaths on Facebook? Police probe fake ad for free food at massacre McDonald's

By Alan Hall, Patrick Lion, Anthony Joseph

An 18-year-old German-Iranian man who complained he had been bullied killed nine people then himself during a gun rampage through yesterday, with police probing claims he lured some of his young victims to their deaths with a promise of free McDonald's food.

A fake Facebook page reportedly told youngsters to gather in a specific fast food restaurant yesterday afternoon for the special offer. At around 5.50pm, the black-clad shooter burst from the restaurant's toilets and began "killing the children" with a pistol, witnesses said. He then continued his bloody spree in a local shopping centre and on the streets around Munich's Olympic quarter.

A number of "adolescents" were among the dead and several "children" were injured, Munich Police President Hubertus Andrae said late last night. Asked whether the Facebook "game" was linked to the attack, he replied it was "one part of the comprehensive investigation we are conducting".

He confirmed the attacker had dual nationality and had lived in Germany for some time - at least two years, possibly much longer. Last night German commandos raided the home the attacker shared with his parents in the suburb of Maxvorstadt. Locals described him as a "quiet guy".

The attack paralysed the southern German city, bringing renewed fears of terrorism to mainland Europe just a week after the Nice atrocity. A total lockdown of the area was only lifted early today when police confirmed the gunman was acting alone and had killed himself in a side street nearby and gave a "cautious all-clear".

The motive for the attack, which was captured in numerous dramatic videos, remained unclear this morning, however police were investigating footage posted online which showed the gunman talking of being "bullied for seven years", raising fears it was a revenge attack on youngsters who had wronged him.

But just a week after another teenager attacker launched an ISIS-inspired axe attack on a German train, witnesses in McDonald's described hearing yesterday's attacker shouting "Allahu Akba", or "God is Great", a cry used by Islamist terrorists during previous attacks.

The suspected shooter (right). Photo: @LucidHurricane/Twitter
The suspected shooter (right). Photo: @LucidHurricane/Twitter

Three people remain critically ill this morning following the attack, with 16 others receiving medical treatment. In total, 21 people were hurt.

The outrage began in a busy branch of McDonald's opposite Munich's Olympia shopping mall, in the city's northern Moosach district.

One witness, named only as Loretta, told how she had been in the McDonald's with her son when the shooting started.

She told CNN: "I come out of the toilet and I hear, like an alarm, boom, boom, boom. He's killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can't run."
Loretta said she had been in the restrooms at the same time as the shooter, with her eight-year-old son. As he started shooting, he yelled "Allahu Akbar", she said.

A local boy, named only as Orhan T, wept as he told how he was on the phone to a young friend when he heard gunshots down the line before the call cut out. "We can no longer reach him," Orhan said, "not even his parents [can]. He's like my brother."

Orhan's father Murat raced to the scene to try and find the youngster. All he found were "lifeless bodies" in McDonald's and outside a nearby shop, before police cleared him from the area.

Overnight hearses arrived at the scene to removed some of the bodies.

After beginning his rampage, the crazed teen burst onto Hanauer Street outside and was captured in shocking footage aiming his pistol at bystanders and unleashing 20 rapid shots. At least one person was killed on the pavement.

The video showed the attached wearing a black T-shirt with a red backpack over it and jeans. He aims at several people just yards from him, including children, and opens fire sending them running for their lives.

He then crossed the road into the sprawling Olympia mall, one of Munich's biggest, and continued his killing spree inside.

After moving through the building he ended on a carpark roof where onlookers filmed him pacing around, apparently walking with a limp. They yelled insults at him, calling him a "w*****", prompting an astonishing exchange between the gunman and members of the public.

Bystanders call him a "w*****" and an "a******"* - one of the most offensive phrases in the German language. They accuse him of being "mad" and a "Turk" before using a derogatory term for "foreigne" towards him.

This sparked the gunman to reply: "I am a German." The bystander, who became known as "balcony man" online, insisted: "You're a w*****."

The gunman claimed to have been born in Munich and brought up in a tough working class area on benefits. He ends the discussion by firing a shot towards those taunting him, sending them diving for cover.

As the first confused reports began to filter out of the area, police believed up to three gunmen were involved and were carrying "long rifles" in an echo of Islamist attacks in Mumbai and Paris.

They lost contact with the gunman despite a patrol exchanging fire with him and he was feared to have fled onto the city's U-Bahn underground network. Over the following minutes, reports of shootings emerged across Munich - all which proved false alarms.

In reality the lone gunman had taken himself to a secluded side road and shot himself dead.

Video

In a late-night press conference, Munich Police chief Hubertus Andrae admitted his officers were only just beginning to answer the questions thrown up by the attack and couldn't yet rule out terrorism.

"The question of terrorism or a rampage is tied to motive, and we don't know the motive," he said, adding the attacker was not previously known to police.

The gunman's body wasn't discovered until 8:30pm, leaving two-and-a-half tense hours with the city's transport networks closed and residents put on lockdown and told to stay indoors.

Workers at the Olympia mall remained cowering in their shops and offices for hours after the attack.

One employee said: "Many shots were fired, I can't say how many but it's been a lot.

"All the people from outside came streaming into the store and I only saw one person on the ground who was so severely injured that he definitely didn't survive.

"We have no further information, we're just staying in the back in the storage rooms. No police have approached us yet."

Another worker, Lynn Stein, told CNN: "People started running. I went outside as well, more people were running outside. I think I heard more shots. Then it sounded like he went to the parking house next to the mall - several shots there.

"I saw somebody lying on the floor, presumably dead and there's a woman over them, crying."
And witness Luan Zequiri said he was in the mall when the shooting began and "there was a really loud scream".

He said he saw only one attacker, who yelled an anti-foreigner slur and was wearing jack boots and a backpack.

"I looked in his direction and he shot two people on the stairs," Zequiri told n-tv. He said he hid in a shop, then ran outside when the coast was clear and saw bodies of the dead and wounded on the ground.

Up to 100 people witnessed the shooting in the mall, police said, and were eventually safely rescued from the building by armed anti-terrorism officers who swarmed to the scene.

Fears of three attackers were initially raised by witnesses describing a car being driven at high speed from the mall. Three men were cornered by armed police nearby, stripped and arrested - but officers later said it was all a false alarm.

As hundreds of police attempted to track the suspect down, Munich's chief of police Marcus Da Gloria Martins said it was the biggest such operation in Germany for ten years.

"You must trust your local police," he said yesterday evening amid the drama. "The Munich police is very well trained. Firearms are a huge problem in this particular incident. We urge people to stay indoors and help us with our work.

"We've managed to evacuate people from inside and hopefully brought everyone to safety. There are people who have been traumatised by this and I can tell you they are in the double figures."

As the panic rose, local reporter Lena Deutch told the BBC: "All of the police forces are at the shopping centre and at the official places in Munich as well.

"They are trying to close everything down because we do not know where this person who's been doing the shooting is at the moment.'

An American student who witnessed the aftermath described seeing dozens of people fleeing the attack at the mall.

Thamina Stoll, 22, from Durham, North Carolina, retreated to her grandmother's flat overlooking the scene and filmed what she saw.

She told MailOnline: "From the balcony we were able to witness about 50 people running towards our house seeking shelter. Sirens started to arrive and a helicopter appeared."

Ms Stoll said the family felt like another family who warned them about the attacks had saved their lives.

"I feel very lucky because I had been there an hour before and I was just about to return"' she said.

"Me and my family - we were saved. We are completely safe but there were still a lot of people running."
"God knows what would have happened to us if my family had decided to go that shopping mall half an hour later. We might not be alive now."

A 32-year-old resident of Riesstraße witnessed an attacker from his flat.

He told Focus magazine; "I live right on the Mall. I was actually just leaving to go eat with my mum.

"But then I heard loud bangs. I watched from the balcony and saw two bodies on the ground outside of the Saturn media store.

"Then I saw the alleged perpetrator. He ran into the mall. I saw how he ran on the parking deck. He was wearing a pair of dark trousers and a Dark T-Shirt and a red backpack.

"In his hand he held a weapon that looked like a pistol. He walked around there and screamed that he was German and grew up here.

"He yelled toward our house facade, that we should stop filming. It is a very large house with many balconies - I'm guessing that at this point, almost all of the inhabitants who were at home were on the balcony and looking.

"Then he shot two times on the wall of the building. I think then he ran away. I heard even more shots, I don't know how many. Then, the first police cars arrived, with flashing lights and sirens."

Another eyewitness told the magazine that she saw children among the dead.

Stefan Meyerhofer, a shop assistant, said; "I heard muffled shots. It sounded as if they came from the direction of the centre's management. Then all of a sudden more people walked past screaming at our store. I've holed up me then with the others who are just in the store, in an office space. We are still here."
British nationals in Germany are being advised to comply with instructions from local authorities.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are urgently investigating an incident in Munich and stand ready to provide assistance to British Nationals."

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson tweeted: "Deeply shocked & saddened by #Munich shootings. My thoughts are w/ the victims, their loved ones & all #Germany at this time."
German premier Angela Merkel was receiving updates on the situation yesterday and is due to meet officials today to be brief on the latest.

US President Barack Obama pledged support to Germany in the wake of the deadly shooting rampage, as officials said they were working to determine if any American citizens were affected.

Obama, speaking at a meeting with law enforcement officials, said: "Our hearts go out to those who may have been injured. It's still an active situation, and Germany's one of our closest allies, so we are going to pledge all the support that they may need in dealing with these circumstances."
The shooting comes just days after a teenage asylum seeker went on the rampage with an axe and a knife on a regional train in Germany, injuring nine people.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that teenager was believed to be a "lone wolf" attacker who appeared to have been "inspired" by the Islamic State group but was not a member of the jihadist network.

Authorities said he shouted"Allahu akbar" three times as he ran through the carriage slashing passengers on the train near the southern city of Wuerzburg.

The attacker is believed to be either Afghan or Pakistani and investigators are still trying to determine his identity.

The train rampage triggered calls by politicians in Bavaria, of which Munich is the capital, to impose an upper limit on the number of refugees coming into the country.

The assailant had arrived as an unaccompanied minor in Germany in June 2015 and had been staying with a foster family in the region of the attack for the last two weeks.

A record 1.1million migrants and refugees were let in to Germany last year, with Syrians making up the largest group followed by Afghans.

In the latest attack in France, 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel used a truck to mow down 84 people, including children, in the Riviera city of Nice last week.

It was the third major attack on French soil in the past 18 months, after the jihadist carnage in Paris in November and the shootings at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in January 2015.

In March, Islamic State-claimed suicide bomb attacks at Brussels airport and a city metro station left 32 people dead.

In May in Germany, a mentally unstable 27-year-old man carried out a knife attack on a regional train in the south of the country , killing one person and injuring three others.

Back in Munich, the shopping centre is next to the Munich Olympic stadium, where the Palestinian militant group Black September took 11 Israeli athletes hostage and eventually killed them during the 1972 Olympic Games.

And Friday marked the fifth anniversary of the massacre in Oslo, Norway, by far-right extremist Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people, 69 of them at a youth summer camp.

In May in Germany, a mentally unstable 27-year-old man carried out a knife attack on a regional train in the south of the country , killing one person and injuring three others.

Back in Munich, the shopping centre is next to the Munich Olympic stadium, where the Palestinian militant group Black September took 11 Israeli athletes hostage and eventually killed them during the 1972 Olympic Games.

And Friday marked the fifth anniversary of the massacre in Oslo, Norway, by far-right extremist Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people, 69 of them at a youth summer camp.

- Daily Mail

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