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Manhunt Underway After Shooting Leaves At Least 9 Dead In Munich

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

At least nine people are dead after a mass shooting outside a shopping center in Munich, Germany. More were injured. Earlier this evening, German police said they were looking for as many as three shooters, armed with what they called long guns. Some roads have been closed, and the subway and buses have been shut down across the city. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is in Germany and joins us now. Hi there, Soraya.

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: Hi there.

MCEVERS: So tell us what we know about what happened today in Munich.

NELSON: Well, at about 6:00 p.m. local time here on a Friday night, when the mall was fairly busy - this is at the Olympia shopping center in Munich - some shots rang out, and people started running in all directions. As it turned out, there was at least one shooter and possibly as many as three that are being sought. And they just started to shoot at passersby. It's unclear what the motivation was. Some people say they were screaming Allahu akbar. Others said they were cursing out foreigners. So it became a very confusing situation, and the police rapidly shut down the city because the fear was that the shooters had fled. At this stage, there is one body that they are investigating near the - the mall, where this shooting originated, that they feel might belong to one of the suspects. But they're just not sure because apparently no gun was found near the body. And it was a self - they're investigating it as a self-inflicted wound. But at this - at this time, Munich is - is pretty much a ghost town. People are staying indoors or being told by police not to go to - not to go outside, if they can help it. Certainly all the trains, everything has shut down there as the police begin - or continue a massive manhunt, looking for the shooters - up to three shooters.

MCEVERS: And this is coming just a few days after police shot and killed a young Afghan man who was attacking people on a train. Now, with this shooting there in Munich, what's the mood like there in Germany? What are people saying?

NELSON: Well, this certainly is something that's - that's very frightening. I mean, Germans were very much paying attention to what happened in Nice, you know, just a short while ago, in terms of the - the mass killings there. And so the situation that happened in Bavaria was also - this - this stabbing that you talked about - was something that put Bavarians on edge. But Munich is also known as one of the safest cities, if not the safest big city, in Germany, so this is all very confusing to people. And they are trying to cooperate with authorities, but they're also very much afraid. And certainly, if you look at social media, you can just see how frightened most Germans are about what's happening at the moment.

MCEVERS: Quickly, what has been the reaction from the German government?

NELSON: They've been pretty quiet so far. They're letting police conduct this massive search, you know, to - to see if they can find these other suspects. But there is a crisis counsel - or a National Security Council meeting that's expected over the weekend. That'll be tomorrow and Sunday. So at this point, they're not saying much other than that their thoughts are with the victims.

MCEVERS: That's NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson in Berlin. Thank you very much.

NELSON: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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