The 18-year-old German-Iranian shooter, who police described as “deranged'” after gunning down nine people and injuring 27 in a busy shopping mall in Munich on Friday, was obsessed by mass shootings in the US, like the Columbine and Virginia Tech massacres, it has emerged.
Police in Munich said the pistol-wielding attacker, who has been named as Ali Sonboly, had apparently acted alone and was unconnected with Islamist terrorists.
Authorities trying to figure out what could have caused an 18-year-old student to commit mass murder, said police searching Sonboly’s bedroom found a German translation of the 2009 book, Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters, by American academic Peter Langman. His book examines 10 school killing sprees, including those at Columbine in 1999, and Virginia Tech in 2007.
Police said Sonboly was also obsessed with the massacre by the Norwegian right-wing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik, which took place exactly five years ago to the day of the Friday’s rampage.
Sonboly was found dead of a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound on a side street near the mall with a 9mm Glock pistol and 300 bullets, two and a half hours after the attack.
Friday’s shooting spree in Munich marked the third mass attack on civilians in Western Europe in eight days.
THE GUARDIAN says Langman’s book is another piece of the puzzle:
As German authorities try to determine what could have led an 18-year-old student to murder nine people at a shopping center in Munich, one of the pieces of the puzzle they will be considering is a book called Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters.
DAILY MAIL says Sonboly was reading about shooting sprees just before the attack:
Police raided his parents’ flat overnight and discovered the Iranian-German was reading documents about ‘spree shootings’ before he carried out the attack.
FOX NEWS says the gunman was “obsessed” with mass murder:
The suspect was identified as an 18-year-old German-Iranian man, who was born and raised in Munich… Police Chief Andre says that the suspect appeared to be “obsessed with shooting rampages.”
Sonboly, who claimed he was bullied at school, did not have a license for the weapon he used – which is a common firearm used by law enforcement agencies worldwide.
German authorities said Sonboly had undergone psychiatric treatment and had lured victims to the scene of his rampage with a bogus offer of free food on social media.
He reportedly had hacked a Facebook account and sent a message urging people to come to a McDonald’s fast food restaurant across the street from the Olympia Einkaufszentrum mall for a free giveaway.
The posting, sent from a young woman’s account, urged people to come to the mall at 4 p.m., saying: “I’ll give you something if you want, but not too expensive.”
Sonboly opened fire in the McDonald’s restaurant shortly before 6 p.m. before moving to the mall.
Munich Victims Were Mostly Teens
Munich Police Chief Hubertus Andrae said both attacks had predominantly targeted young people, with most of the victims in their teens.
Three were 14, two were 15, one was 17 and another 19, while a 20-year-old and a 45-year-old were also killed.
Police said they were investigating video footage, in which the gunman is heard shouting, “I am German,” and exchanging racial slurs and profanities with another man. “We are trying to determine who said what,” a police spokesman said.
At least 27 people, including several children, were in hospital and three were in critical condition.
Friday’s attack happened less than a week after a 17-year-old Afghan asylum-seeker wounded five people in an ax-and-knife rampage that started on a regional train near the Bavarian city of Wuerzburg.
And eight days earlier, a Tunisian drove a truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day, in Nice France, killing 84. ISIS claimed responsibility.
Although political or religious motives for the Munich attack have been ruled out, there is clearly some kind of link. Germany accepted nearly one million refugees during last year’s migrant crisis, Bavaria was on the front line – and tensions between native and immigrant Germans have been on the rise. That cultural divide will almost certainly continue.