Another shooting has occurred, this time at a McDonald’s in Munich, Germany. The shooter, dressed in black, appears to have used a semi-automatic handgun. The situation remains sketchy at this time, but early indications are that there are multiple casualties. This attack is the second in Germany in less than a week, with the other being by a 17-year- old Afghan who attacked train riders with a knife and axe. Police killed that attacker. At this hour, the shooter in the Munich attack remains at large. No motive or claim of responsibility has been made.

Restaurants and other food and retail outlets should take note of this event and other recent events like it that have occurred. Restaurants and food and retail outlets are soft targets, making patrons and employees vulnerable to such violence. Planning for active shooter events is important. Surveillance is the first step in this process; employees should be trained in what to look for and have a means to rapidly inform other workers and the public, should violence commence. Management should also consult with local police officials. Short- to medium-term, violent copycat events are highly probable.

By R.A. Norton

Robert A. Norton, Ph.D., is a professor at Auburn University and Chair of the Food Defense Working Group. A long-time consultant to federal and state law enforcement agencies, the Department of Defense and industry, he specializes in intelligence analysis, weapons of mass destruction defense and national security. For more information on the topic or for more detailed discussions about specific security related needs, he can be reached at or by phone at (334) 844-7562.