It was supposed to be a festive summer weekend in Munich, the capital of Bavaria, Germany’s southernmost state. Like Texas, Bavaria has a reputation for conservatism and an independent spirit that sets it apart from the rest of the country. They also love their beer, and it’s the 500th birthday of the Reinheitsgebot, Bavaria’s famous Purity Law that set the gold standard for beer-aficionados worldwide way back in 1516.
But a festive summer weekend was not what Munich got. Shortly before six in the evening on Friday, shots rang out at the Olympia Center, a popular shopping mall north of downtown, just down the street from the site of the notorious 1972 Olympics massacre. The main scene of the crime was a McDonalds and many of the 25 people shot were children.
The killer emerged from the McDonalds’ bathroom, firing a pistol. He seems to have targeted children intentionally and there are reports that, in a diabolical twist, the murderer used a fake Facebook page to lure kids to the restaurant with the offer of free food.
Nine were killed in the rampage and 16 others were wounded, several of them critically. Mayhem followed as hundreds of police swarmed the mall and Munich’s downtown. Throughout the evening, false reports of copycat shooters or possible co-conspirators caused panic throughout the city. Jumpy authorities ordered the evacuation of Munich’s main train station and several other public places, just to be safe.
Read the rest at The Observer …