Munich, Germany, Jul 23, 2016 / 07:11 am
The archbishop of Munich has called for prayers for the victims of Friday’s deadly shooting at a shopping mall, and condemned acts of violence which “poison” society with fear.
"This horrific crime deeply affects me and fills me with profound grief," Cardinal Reinhard Marx is quoted as saying in a July 23 statement by the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising.
"My prayers are with the victims and their families,” said the head of the German Bishops' Conference said, adding: “I hope that the many injured can return home soon."
At least nine people were killed and nearly 30 injured on Friday evening after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at the Olympia shopping mall in Munich, the BBC reports.
The German teenager of Iranian descent, who The Independent identifies as Ali David Sonboly, was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Police believe the teenager had no known ties to the Islamic State, but the BBC reports he may have been inspired by Anders Behring Breivik, the mass murderer who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011. Friday's shooting spree came on the five year anniversary of Breivik's massacre.
Friday’s incident also follows closely on the heels of two other attacks: a teenage Afghan Islamist went on an axe rampage in Würzburg, Germany, on Monday night, leaving several passengers severely wounded. And the previous week, 84 people were killed in Nice, France when a Tunisian man intentionally drove a large truck through a crowded beach street at high speed during a Bastille Day celebration. Both of these attacks are believed to have been inspired by ISIS.
Cardinal Marx decried how "on an almost daily basis, we are witness to an unprecedented unleashing of violence and hate.”