A gunman who killed three people when he opened fire in a crowded shopping mall acted alone and apparently chose his victims at random, Danish police said on Monday, all but calling the attack “terrorism”. of work”.
Police have yet to identify the cause of Sunday’s attack inside one of Scandinavia’s biggest shopping centres. A suspect carrying a rifle and a knife was immediately arrested, and Copenhagen’s Chief Police Inspector Soren Thomasson said the 22-year-old Danish man also had another gun.
He said the firearms were obtained illegally and the suspect was known to mental health services, but gave no further details.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Fredriksson on Monday described the attack as “unusually brutal”, saying it was “the worst possible nightmare”.
According to Thomson, the three killed were a 17-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl, both Danes, and a 47-year-old Russian man. Four more people were admitted to the hospital with gunshot wounds and were in critical but stable condition. At least 30 people have been injured in a stampede following a shooting at Field’s shopping center on the outskirts of the Danish capital.
The last shooting of this scale was in February 2015, when a 22-year-old man was killed in a shootout with police following an attack in the capital that killed two people and injured five police officers.
According to Danish media, the suspect arrived for a hearing in a packed courtroom, where he is expected to be presented with three preliminary charges of murder and four counts of attempted murder. Preliminary charges are one step less than filing formal charges, but allow authorities to detain a suspect during an investigation. The media reported that his name could not be taken under the order of the court.
Thomson said police had no indication that anyone helped the gunman and his motive was unclear.
Thomson said, “There is nothing in our investigation, or in the documents that we have reviewed, or the things that we have found, or the statements of the witnesses that we have found, which can confirm that this act of terrorism.” Suspected as an “ethnic Dane”, a phrase that usually means someone is white.
Danish broadcaster TV2 published a grainy photo of the alleged gunman, wearing knee-length shorts, a vest or sleeveless shirt, and holding a rifle in his right hand.
“He seemed very violent and angry,” eyewitness Mahdi al-Wazni told TV2. “He talked to me and said [the rifle] Not real as I was filming him. He was very proud of what he was doing.”
Images from the scene showed people running out of the mall, where people offered flowers on Monday.
Chessandra Stoltz, an 18-year-old student on her way to a Harry Styles concert that was scheduled for Sunday night, described the stampede as shots went off. At first, she and her sister and father thought it was because someone had seen Styles—but she soon realized the panic involved a man who grabbed his baby from a stroller in the chaos. was.
“People were leading us to the exit sign, and we ran to the roof and we stayed there for a while and then people were panicking everywhere and people crying,” Stoltz said.
Styles’ concert was canceled due to the shooting.
Sunday’s attack comes nearly a week after a shooting in neighboring Norway, where police said a Norwegian man of Iranian descent opened fire during an LGBTQ festival, killing two and injuring more than 20.