MUNICH – At least eight people were killed Friday when gunfire erupted at a shopping center in Munich, Germany, in what police officials said “looks like a terror attack.”
At least three attackers were on the loose as the city was under a virtual lockdown, with residents being urged to stay home, restaurants and other business closing and public transit shutting down.
Here’s what we know so far:
• The shooting broke out at a McDonald’s across from the Olympia shopping mall about 5:50 p.m. (11:50 a.m. ET), police spokeswoman Claudia Küntzel said. Gunfire also broke out inside the mall, which is adjacent to the site of the 1972 Olympics, witnesses said.
• On Facebook, police said gunfire was reported in several locations, and that witnesses report seeing three people with firearms.
• “The manhunt is underway at high speed,” police said. “Because of the unclear situation we ask all people in the city area to stay at home or to look for protection in any nearby building. The operation of public transportation service has been stopped.”
• Police said on Twitter that special forces from Bavaria and surrounding federal states have been brought in as reinforcements.
• Nine bodies have been found in or around the Munich shopping center, police said at a press conference. Police are trying to verify whether one of these bodies could be one of the shooters, Munich police tweeted.
• Olympia mall, located in a middle-class neighborhood in northern Munich, is the city’s biggest shopping center. It’s located near a large BMW factory and is a popular destination for shoppers on Friday nights, German lawmaker Charles Huber told CNN. It’s near a major transit hub.
• A witness who will only be identified as Lauretta told CNN her son was in a bathroom with a shooter at the McDonald’s. “That’s where he loaded his weapon,” she said. “I hear like an alarm and boom, boom, boom… And he’s still killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can’t run.” Lauretta said she heard the gunman say, “Allahu Akbar,” or God is great. “I know this because I’m Muslim. I hear this and I only cry.”
• Lynn Stein, who said she works at the Jack Wolfskin store in the mall, said she heard six of seven shots inside the mall. “People were very confused, and they were running and they were screaming,” she said. She said she saw someone lying on the floor of a store who appeared to be either dead or injured. “There’s a woman over them, crying.”
• Thamina Stoll told CNN she was with her grandmother, who lives about three minutes away from the mall: “There were like 50 people running towards our house to seek shelter, and there was a helicopter circling above us for about 20 minutes and sirens. And there’s still people walking on the streets, they’re confused, and nobody knows what’s really going on.”
• Two Munich subway lines (U1, U3) and several bus lines in Munich are experiencing interruptions because of the police operations around the shopping mall, MVG (Munich Transport Corporation) said. Officials expect the interruptions to continue for a few more hours.
• Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, told public broadcaster ZDF in a live special broadcast that she is receiving regular updates, the appropriate ministers are on their way to Berlin and the federal security council has called a meeting for Saturday.
• The shooting comes as recent terror attacks have put Europe on high alert. A truck plowed into a crowd of Bastille Day revelers in Nice, France, last week, killing more than 80 people. This week, a teenager who said he was inspired by ISIS stabbed passengers on a German train before police shot him dead.