German president, Merkel mourn victims of Munich shooting


BERLIN (AP) — Munich paid tribute Sunday to the victims of the July 22 shooting in which nine people were killed with a church service attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck.

The nondenominational service at the Frauenkirche, or Church of Our Lady, was the first of two memorial events. Gauck was speaking later in the day at an event in Bavaria’s state parliament.

An 18-year-old German-Iranian man killed nine people and wounded over 30 others at a McDonald’s restaurant and shopping mall in the city. He then killed himself.

Officials have said the gunman was a withdrawn loner obsessed with playing “killer” video games who had been treated for depression and psychiatric problems.

Witnesses have said the gunman shouted slurs against foreigners, even though he himself was the German-born son of Iranian asylum-seekers

The restaurant where most of the victims died was a hangout for youths of immigrant backgrounds, and the dead included victims with Hungarian, Turkish, Greek, and Kosovo Albanian backgrounds and a stateless person.

There is no suggestion that Islamic extremism played any part in the Munich attack. However, the rampage in Munich was the deadliest of a string of attacks over a week that rattled Germany — and also included an ax attack and a bombing in Bavaria that were both claimed by the Islamic State group.

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