Munich wakes up under shock, but life slowly goes back to its natural rhythms. With the all-clear and the announcement of the police that the only bomber died, committing suicide, cars and public transport began to circulate again last night, after their suspension in the evening, immediately after the shooting. Also the presence of the police has diminished in the city, which seemed to be under siege. Only the Olympia shopping center is still off limits.
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has ordered that all public buildings throughout Germany expose half-mast flags. “A sign of participation after the atrocious act of violence” in Munich, reads the Twitter account of the Ministry.
The scientific police is currently checking every centimeter along the route of flight of the 18 year-old man. The city woke up with a slightly clouded sky, but the day promises to be sunny. Traffic is still very light this weekend of July. Yesterday’s chaos, when Munich was haywire, seems so far away: sirens and flashing lights everywhere. The roads leading to the city were blocked to allow the arrival of the police and rescuers. 2,500 police officers and about the same number of firefighters and rescue workers were moved from all over Bavaria to the capital. Special police units arrived to Munich even from Austria. Virtually every intersection of the city was guarded.
Doctors and nurses were called into service. In the evening, in fact, no one knew yet what was going on. News were circulating about three gunmen on the run, but during the night the police explained that the two men who had quickly left the commercial center in a car have nothing to do with the shooting. There were countless commuters and tourists stranded in Munich. Helicopters were overflying the city and the police controlled all the cars that were leaving the city, fearing that an gunman might run away, causing long queues several kilometers.
The tension was high. An arrest was made at the Munich airport, but it proved to be only a degenerated dispute between an employer and his employee. Trains stopped circulating too, and many people have spent the night in sleeping cars, made available by the German Railways. Last night, it was impossible to find a free room in a hotel in Munich. Then came the long-awaited all-clear. “It is all over now, Munich can turn the page,” said a police spokesman at the end of the press conference. And the inhabitants of Munich seem to be ready to do so.
The German newspaper Bild reported that the gunman attended a school close to home and one of his neighbors has seen him yesterday. “He lived nearby, I knew him – said the young man –, a friend of mine was his classmate and he said he was a quiet guy.” Yet, he was not that quiet after all. “Because of you, I have been bullied for seven years…” were the words the author of the massacre shouted out, addressing a person who was on the balcony of a building next to the shopping center where the carnage took place. The conversation in Bavarian dialect has been recorded and the video ended up posted on the Internet. The person on the balcony repeatedly insults the gunman, calling him with the German equivalent of “as**ole” and “dum**ss”. In the face of these insults, the gunman, after saying he had been a victim of bullying as a child, adds that “… now I have to buy a gun to shoot you.”The national security committee will meet in Berlin, whereas in Munich, investigators should meet the press today to clarify, at least partially, the behind the scenes of this crazy act of violence, which claimed 10 lives, including that of the killer himself.