Duke student in Munich recounts terror of mall shooting

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A Duke student in Munich spoke to ABC11 about the mall shootings (WTVD)

Duke University student Thamina Stoll considers herself lucky to be alive after witnessing the Munich mall shooting that killed nine people and wounded 16 others.

READ MORE: Police give all clear in Munich mall shooting; say suspect is dead

Stoll was born and raised in Munich, Germany and is currently participating in a summer internship there. The Duke senior is working towards three academic programs: Political Science, Policy Journalism & Media Studies, and Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

Friday, Stoll found herself on the heels of another European terror attack; this time in Munich. She had just returned to her grandmother's apartment, where she is staying, when she saw a woman running in the opposite direction of the mall screaming that shots had been fired.

"They were panicking, they were crying, and screaming," she told ABC11 via FaceTime.


In between tweets and interviews, Stoll is still trying to make sense of it all.

"It was just terrifying," she said. "I still feel like I haven't really even processed it."

She is scheduled to return to Durham in mid-August to begin the fall semester. She understands had she been in the mall at the time of the attack, it's likely she would have not lived to talk about it.

"Had I decided to go there for a third time, like 10 to 15 minutes earlier, I would have been dead right now," she said.

Stoll told ABC11 her friends and family in Germany are safe. German police had previously advised those in the area to stay indoors, as the suspected gunmen were reportedly still on the loose. The instruction given by police had Stoll worried for two families that took shelter with her at her grandmother's apartment after the shooting.

"I hope they're safe," she said.

Even though she was with family and generally felt safe, Stoll said it's hard to forget that as long as the shooter or shooters were on the loose, the threat still existed.

The conversation with Stoll came to a close before German police identified the shooter as an 18-year-old German-Iranian man who likely acted alone.

"As long as the police aren't able to neutralize the assassins, it'll be very difficult to go to sleep tonight," Stoll lamented.

Police gave a "cautious all clear" in the pre-dawn hours Saturday. The shooter, whose name wasn't released, was not previously known to police and there was no evidence of any links to terrorist organizations, Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae said.

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