Gunman began planning Munich shooting one year back

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The 18-year-old German-Iranian gunman who killed nine people in Munich on Friday began planning the attack one year ago after visiting the site of a 2009 school shooting in southwest Germany that killed 15 people, a Bavarian state official said on Sunday, reports Reuters.

Robert Heimberger, president of the Bavarian state crime office, said material founded at his home showed the gunman was an avid player of violent video crimes who purchased his weapon — a reactivated Glock 17 pistol — on the so-called dark net, an area of the Internet accessible only via special software.

Heimberger said the parents of the gunman remained in shock and were not able to be interviewed. An official of the state prosecutor’s office said the shooting victims did not include any classmates of the gunman.

President of the Bavarian State Office of Criminal Investigation Robert Heimberger attends a news conference after a shooting rampage at the Olympia shopping mall in Munich, Germany

President of the Bavarian State Office of Criminal Investigation Robert Heimberger attends a news conference after a shooting rampage at the Olympia shopping mall in Munich, Germany * PHOTO: REUTERS

According to BBC, Sonboly was a keen player of “first-person shooter” video games, Mr Heimberger said.  He also said that police had not found the manifesto of Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik when they searched Sonboly’s room at his parents’ flat.

A day earlier, officials had raised the possibility of a link to Breivik, whose own attack was carried out five years earlier to the day.

As to Sonboly’s state of mind, a spokesman for the Munich prosecutors’ office told the news conference that Sonboly had spent two months as an inpatient at a mental care facility in 2015 and was afterwards treated as an outpatient.

“The suspect had fears of contact with others” and also depression, Thomas Steinkraus-Koch said.

However, there was no evidence of any political motivation. Senior German politicians have called for tighter controls on the sale of guns in the wake of the shooting at the Olympia shopping centre.

Munich’s police chief has urged the media to respect the privacy of those affected by the attack on Monday, when schools reopen.

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