Munich slowly began returning to normal over the weekend after an 18-year-old German-Iranian man shot nine people dead and wounded another 27 in the Olympia shopping mall in the city’s Moosbach neighborhood.
The gunman committed suicide, not far from the mall, late Friday night.
The authorities lifted the state of emergency in Munich on Saturday, saying there was no evidence to link the local teenager to terrorist organizations. Books and articles on mass shootings, including that of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, were found in the room of the gunman. Authorities said the youth, identified in media accounts as Ali Sonboly, was a single perpetrator, and described him as depressed and “a classic spree killer.” Reports over the weekend said Sonboly researched such killings for more than a year before taking action.
The Olympia shopping mall remained closed on Saturday and was closed as normal on Sunday. Elsewhere in Munich, business slowly returned to normal as mass transportation services resumed and shops and restaurants reopened. An employee at Munich department store Ludwig Beck described the atmosphere as “very quiet, very peaceful, but everyone seems to be very thoughtful and reflective.”
Of those killed, three were age 14, two were 15 and the other victims were ages 17, 19, 20 and 45. Officials said all the victims were from Munich.
The incident late Friday immediately set off alarm that Germany had been hit by another terrorist incident following an attack by a young refugee wielding a knife and an ax earlier in the week that wounded five people. The week before, on Bastille Day, 77 people were killed in Nice, France, when a man drove a tractor trailer truck through the crowd watching a fireworks display. While authorities in Munich quickly dismissed Friday’s incident as being related to terrorism, the French police have said the truck driver, a Muslim, had become radicalized. The Islamic State has called the truck driver, identified as 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who was born in Tunisia. Since the tragedy in Nice, French police have charged five people it alleges were Bouhlel’s accomplices.
Immigration and terrorism have become major issues in Europe and the U.S. Fears over the European Union’s failure to control immigration from war-stricken territories in the Middle East were one of the driving forces behind the U.K. voting to exit the EU, otherwise known as Brexit. In the U.S., Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has made immigration a central focus of his campaign, claiming he’d build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to control illegal immigration from that country. In his acceptance speech on Thursday, Trump also said he’d stop immigration from countries “compromised” by terrorism.