Munich shooting: Attacker researched rampage killings, police say

Updated 12:50 AM EDT, Sun July 24, 2016
Police officers respond to a shooting at the Olympia Einkaufzentrum (OEZ) at July 22, 2016 in Munich, Germany.  According to reports, several people have been killed and an unknown number injured in a shooting at a shopping centre in the north-western Moosach district in Munich. Police are hunting the attacker or attackers who are thought to be still at large.
Joerg Koch/Getty Images
Police officers respond to a shooting at the Olympia Einkaufzentrum (OEZ) at July 22, 2016 in Munich, Germany. According to reports, several people have been killed and an unknown number injured in a shooting at a shopping centre in the north-western Moosach district in Munich. Police are hunting the attacker or attackers who are thought to be still at large.
Now playing
01:32
Munich shooting attack kills 9
Ali Sonboly has been identified as the Munich shooter
From Bild
Ali Sonboly has been identified as the Munich shooter
Now playing
01:23
Neighbors identify 18-year-old attacker as Ali Sonboly
Twitter Video
Now playing
02:37
Conversation with Munich attack suspect caught on video
Munich presser
NTV
Munich presser
Now playing
01:00
Police: Suspected Munich shooter was an 18-year-old
Police secures the area of Karlsplatz (Stachus square) following shootings on July 22, 2016 in Munich.
Several people were killed on Friday in a shooting rampage by a lone gunman in a Munich shopping centre, media reports said / AFP / dpa / Andreas Gebert / Germany OUT        (Photo credit should read ANDREAS GEBERT/AFP/Getty Images)
ANDREAS GEBERT/AFP/Getty Images
Police secures the area of Karlsplatz (Stachus square) following shootings on July 22, 2016 in Munich. Several people were killed on Friday in a shooting rampage by a lone gunman in a Munich shopping centre, media reports said / AFP / dpa / Andreas Gebert / Germany OUT (Photo credit should read ANDREAS GEBERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:52
Munich shooting attack leaves many dead
germany munich witness gunman loading pistol_00025911.jpg
germany munich witness gunman loading pistol_00025911.jpg
Now playing
03:08
Witness: Munich gunman was killing the children
Timm Kraeft posted a photo from near the Munich mall where streets were blocked by police.
courtesy Timm Kraeft
Timm Kraeft posted a photo from near the Munich mall where streets were blocked by police.
Now playing
01:55
Witness: I heard shots, went back inside mall
munich germanyshooting video cedric leighton explainer_00001314.jpg
Twitter
munich germanyshooting video cedric leighton explainer_00001314.jpg
Now playing
01:46
Video from parking garage near Munich shooting
munich video appears to show shooter _00002506.jpg
Twitter Video
munich video appears to show shooter _00002506.jpg
Now playing
01:18
Video appears to show shooter
President Obama gives a statement following the Munich shooting spree
CNN
President Obama gives a statement following the Munich shooting spree
Now playing
00:58
Obama: We pledge all our support to Germany
From Thamina Stoll/Twitter‏
Now playing
01:20
'Shooting spree' reported at Munich shopping mall
psychology of terror sanjay gupta nws orig_00002811.jpg
ISIS
psychology of terror sanjay gupta nws orig_00002811.jpg
Now playing
01:25
The psychology of terror
Investigators inspect a truck following a shooting incident in New York on October 31, 2017. 
Several people were killed and numerous others injured in New York on Tuesday when a suspect plowed a vehicle into a bike and pedestrian path in Lower Manhattan, and struck another vehicle on Halloween, police said. A suspect exited the vehicle holding up fake guns, before being shot by police and taken into custody, officers said. The motive was not immediately apparent.

 / AFP PHOTO / Don EMMERT        (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
Investigators inspect a truck following a shooting incident in New York on October 31, 2017. Several people were killed and numerous others injured in New York on Tuesday when a suspect plowed a vehicle into a bike and pedestrian path in Lower Manhattan, and struck another vehicle on Halloween, police said. A suspect exited the vehicle holding up fake guns, before being shot by police and taken into custody, officers said. The motive was not immediately apparent. / AFP PHOTO / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:43
The vulnerability of 'soft targets' to terror
A target sheet hangs at a shooting range July 22 in Aurora, Colorado.
Getty Images
A target sheet hangs at a shooting range July 22 in Aurora, Colorado.
Now playing
02:20
How police train for active shooter response

Story highlights

Neighbors identify 18-year-old attacker as Ali Sonboly

Man had no connection to ISIS and no apparent political motive, police say

CNN —  

The teenager who shot dead nine people in Munich on Friday was a mentally troubled man who had extensively researched rampage killings and had no apparent links to ISIS, German police said.

Authorities said the 18-year-old lone attacker – who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound – had no political motivations.

No references to religion were found in documents in his home in the southern German city.

But investigators searching his belongings found numerous documents on rampage killings, including a book entitled “Rampage in My Mind – Why Students Kill,” said Robert Heimberger, president of the Bavarian state criminal police office.

Neighbors ID gunman

Neighbors say it was Ali Sonboly's apartment that police searched.
From Bild
Neighbors say it was Ali Sonboly's apartment that police searched.

Neighbors told CNN that the teen who lived in the apartment searched by police was Ali Sonboly. German police said the gunman’s parents had been taken in for questioning.

Police have not named the attacker, but said he had dual German and Iranian nationality, and was born and raised in Munich.

Munich shooting: What we know

It appeared that before the attack, the gunman had hacked a woman’s Facebook account to post a fake offer of free food at the McDonald’s branch where the attack began,German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said.

Investigators were still working to confirm that he posted that to lure people to the scene.

Police said there was also likely to be significance in the timing of the attack, five years to the day since Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, many of them attendees at a youth camp.

Both attacks targeted young people, with most of the victims in Munich in their teens, Police Chief Hubertus Andrae said.

Attack targeted youth

Three of the victims were 14, two were 15, one was 17 and another 19, while a 20-year-old and a 45-year-old were also killed. Three were female.

The victims all were German nationals from the Munich area, officials said. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said three of the victims were also Turkish nationals.

Another of the victims was also a Greek citizen, Greece’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

The attack left 27 people wounded, 10 of them with serious injuries, Andrae said.

Gunman’s fatal wounds self-inflicted

The gunman stormed the McDonald’s outside the Olympia mall in Munich on Friday evening, before continuing in to the shopping center, bringing Germany’s third-largest city to a standstill. Residents were warned to avoid public places and public transport was halted.

Authorities, initially fearing three gunmen were on the loose, mounted a massive operation involving 3,200 security personnel. Terrified shoppers sought safety in strangers’ homes.

Police engaged in a shootout with the gunman, whose body was found near the scene of the attacks. An autopsy indicated he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

No suicide note had been found in the attacker’s home, and his parents were too shocked to help police in their investigations, officials said.

The attacker used a 9 mm Glock 17 pistol that was likely obtained illegally. The serial number had been scratched off, and he had about 300 rounds of ammunition in his backpack, police said.

Attacker not known to authorities

De Maiziere said there had been no previous police or intelligence agency investigations into the attacker, the son of Shiite Muslims from Iran who came to Germany as asylum seekers in the 1990s.

“We know that in the apartment of the perpetrator, material was found which leads to him being interested in those who go on a rampage,” he said. “We do not have any indications that would lead to international terrorism.”

The attacker had received medical treatment for mental health issues, a police official said. In 2012, he had been the victim of “bodily injury” in an incident involving other young people.