HARRISBURG, Pa (WHTM) – A Cumberland County woman studying abroad in Europe recalls the panic felt when a gunman opened fire in Munich, Germany last week. She also has an important message for travelers.
Megan Miller and her classmate believed their lives were in danger last Friday. While traveling in Munich, Germany, both women took for cover when alarms and police shouted to scatter a crowded square. The Mechanicsburg native spoke with ABC27’s Dave Marcheskie via Facebook video messenger.
“[We thought] the gunman was two feet outside the door and he could burst in at any moment and shoot everyone in the room,” Miller said.
Both ducked inside a small store, trying to find someone who spoke English to translate what was going on. News of a gunman on the loose and chatter about shots fired outside built immense fear to the point Miller texted her mother “I love you, I think we could die”.
“We don’t know what’s going on — we think we might die,” Miller said. “We think there’s a gunman right where we are.”
Turns out, Miller was a few miles away from where the gunman killed nine outside a mall. Early on, not many were sure what happened. She holed up in the store for three hours before news outlets deemed the streets safe.
“At the time we thought there was a gunman right in the square,” she said. “So, it was a lot of panic”
The 20-year-old Georgia Tech student has felt the sting of terror all summer. Her temporary home is in Paris, France, not far from one of the deadliest terror attacks last November. About 130 miles west, another terror attack struck Normandy, France Tuesday. And, Miller visited Nice, France days before a man mowed down a crowd and killed 84 on Bastille Day.
But, it came closer than she’d ever imagine last Friday in Germany.
“That’s when it hits home,” she said. “And it hit even close just this last weekend in Munich.”
Many students are gearing up for a fall semester abroad or travelers headed to Europe for Oktoberfest, Miller has an important reminder.
Anyone planning European trips or abroad programs — miller has this message…
“Don’t let [terror] stop you from traveling abroad,” she said. “It has been an incredible summer getting to travel all over Europe.”
Miller said she is smarter about terror. She locates exits and looks out for “safe places” to run to incase something were to occur.
“Just definitely be aware of your surroundings,” she said. “It’s definitely helped me.”
Miller has a couple weeks yet to sip the culture and savor the sights. She said she would not let terror instill long-term fear in her travels and hopes others will continue to experience other countries.
There is one thing even a well-traveled and globally wise woman misses – her mother.
“I love you mom!” she said. “I can’t wait to see you in two weeks.”