July 20, 2024

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Several people were killed in a shooting in Copenhagen

Several people were killed in a shooting in Copenhagen

Several people were killed and wounded in a shooting at a shopping center in Copenhagen on Sunday, according to police, who arrested a 22-year-old Dane suspect.

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According to witnesses, the armed youth was arrested when police arrived near the large Fields shopping mall, located between the Danish capital’s city center and the airport.

“We know now that there are many injuries, and many deaths,” Copenhagen police chief inspector Søren Thomassen told a news conference.

He said the motives of the “22-year-old Dane” suspect were unclear, but “we cannot rule out an act of terrorism”. According to him, there was no indication that others were involved in the murder.

A large police force was deployed at the scene of the shooting and at other locations in Copenhagen, two days after the Tour de France passed through the Danish capital to huge jubilation.

The killing happened around 5:30pm local time (3:30pm GMT), sparking panic. Many visitors were there ahead of a concert by British star Harry Styles in a large hall nearby, which was canceled later in the evening.

According to witnesses interviewed by Danish media, the suspect tried to trap the victims, for example by telling them his weapon was fake to get them to come closer.

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“He was mentally ill enough to hurt people, but he didn’t run away,” said a witness interviewed by public television DR.

When the first shots were heard, more than a hundred people were reported to have run out of the mall.

Others were forced to hide inside.

“Suddenly we heard gunshots, ten shots, we ran everything we could to take shelter in the toilet,” explained DR to Isabella, who was hiding there at two o’clock.

“Run for Our Lives”

According to Copenhagen Mayor Sophie Haestorp Andersen, a crisis unit was triggered.

Roads around the shopping center were blocked with a large security perimeter, metro traffic was cut off and a helicopter was circling the area, an AFP journalist at the scene said.

Heavily armed police prevented residents from returning to their homes.

“My girls had to go Harry Styles. Someone called me to say they were shooting. They were in a restaurant when it happened,” Hans Christian Stolz, a 53-year-old Swede who had come to pick up his children, told AFP.

“At first we thought it was people running because we saw Harry Styles, then we understood it was people panicking (…) We ran for our lives,” says his daughter Cassandra.

“My team and I are praying for all the victims of the mall shooting in Copenhagen. I’m shocked,” the British star said on Snapchat.

Police have not released a motive for the shooting.

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The last attack in Copenhagen began on February 14 and 15, 2015, when two people were killed and five others were wounded in a series of shootings fueled by Islamists.