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Munich shooter planned crime for a year

July 24, 2016

German police say the teenager who killed nine people during a shooting rampage in Munich had been planning the attack for more than a year. Investigators also said the perpetrator bought his weapon over the internet.

Image: Getty Images/J. Koch

The 18-year-old gunman behind the shooting spree at a Munich shopping center "had been preparing for a year," Bavarian police chief Robert Heimberger told a press conference Sunday.

Heimberger said the German-Iranian teen, identified only as David S., visited the site of a 2009 school shooting in the southwest German town of Winnenden and took photographs. He added that material found at the shooter's home showed he had likely obtained his Glock 17 pistol illegally through the internet's "dark net" market, and was an avid player of first-person shooter video games like "Counter-Strike."

President of the Bavarian State Office of Criminal Investigation Robert Heimberger (L) and Senior Prosecutor Thomas Steinkraus-Koch
Robert Heimberger (L) and Thomas Steinkraus-Koch address journalists in MunichImage: Reuters/A. Wiegmann

Mourners have laid flowers and candles at the Olympia shopping center where David S. fatally shot nine people on Friday night before turning the gun on himself.

On Sunday, authorities raised the number of injured people from two dozen to 35.

Most of the dead were teenagers, and six had a non-German background, police said. Prosecutor Thomas Steinkraus-Koch told journalists on Sunday that investigators had concluded the gunman had chosen his victims randomly and did not appear to be motivated by a political ideology.

"It is not the case that he deliberately selected" the people who he shot, he said. He also revealed that the teenager had spent two months in a closed psychiatric ward in 2015 and received treatment for social phobias and anxiety.

Officials have ruled out any connection to extremist group "Islamic State," which has claimed responsibility for recent attacks in Paris and Belgium. However, they have pointed to an "obvious link" between Friday's killings and the massacre of 77 people by white supremacist Anders Behring Breivik in Norway in 2011.

Nach Amoklauf am Olympia Einkaufszentrum in München Trauer
People gather to mourn and lay flower tributes near Munich's Olympia shopping centerImage: picture-alliance/AP Photo/J. Meyer

Breivik's attack took place five years to the day before the Munich shooting. Bavaria's interior minister said a copy of Breivik's manifesto had been discovered on the 18-year-old's computer.

nm/jlw (dpa, AP, AFP, Reuters)