Munich gunman planned mall attack for one year after visiting school shooting site

Investigators also concluded that 18-year-old Ali Sonboly bought his weapon — a reactivated Glock 17 pistol — on the darknet.

by VICE News
Jul 24 2016, 2:13pm

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere (L), Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann and Bavaria's State Police Commissioner Wilhelm Schmidbauer arrive at the Olympia Einkaufszentrum in Munich, Germany, 23 July 2016. (Sven Hoppe/EPA)

The teenage gunman who opened fire on a shopping mall in Munich had planned the attack for one year after visiting the site of a 2009 school shooting in southwest Germany, a Bavarian state official said on Sunday.

Investigators' findings suggest that 18-year-old Ali Sonboly – who went on a shooting rampage on Friday, ultimately killing nine and injuring 27 – was inspired by the actions of Tim Kretschmer, the gunman who attacked a secondary school in Winnenden, leaving 16 dead. An official did note, however, that none of Sonboly's classmates were among the victims.

Robert Heimberger, president of the Bavarian state crime office, also said that material found during a search of Sonboly's home showed he avidly played violent video games. Investigators also concluded that he bought his weapon — a reactivated Glock 17 pistol — on the darknet.

Heimberger said that Sonboly's parents were still in shock from what happened and have not been able to be interviewed. Sonboly reportedly committed suicide not far from the site of the mass shooting.

Police have said that the Munich attack was not connected to the Islamic State Group.

Reuters contributed to this report