Three people died at a shooting at a mall in Copenhagen with three others critically wounded and several others sustaining injuries.
The shooting took place on July 3rd at Fields, a shopping centre located in Denmark’s capital city.
Copenhagen Head of Police Soren Thomassen spoke at a press conference on July 4 saying that the victim included a man in his 40s and two young people.
The police also arrested a 22-year-old Danish man. “We are convinced that the 22-year-old suspect arrested was the shooter, he was carrying a rifle and ammunition,” he said, adding that investigators “believe the suspect was not working with others, but that until they are absolutely certain they will not rule it out.”
“Police arrested the suspect thirteen minutes after receiving the first emergency call about the shooting,” said Thomassen.
Former Danish politician and athlete who was an eyewitness to the event said that he was on his way to a gym inside Field’s when he saw large groups of people rushing out of the mall.
“It looked like something, I’m sorry to say, like something you would see from a school shooting in the US, people coming out with their hands above their heads.You have people running out, looking for friends and calling friends and family members who were inside, some speaking to friends who were inside. Old people with their arms around the necks of people carrying them out, their feet just being dragged across the floor.”
He said that security tried to get the crowds out of the mall and the police had come in urging everyone to run as there was still shooting going on.
Police chief Soeren Thomassen said the motive was unclear but it could be an “act of terrorism”.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that Denmark had suffered a cruel attack.
“Denmark was hit by a cruel attack on Sunday night. Several were killed. Even more wounded. Innocent families shopping or eating out. Children, adolescents and adults.
“Our beautiful and usually so safe capital was changed in a split second,” she added.
Denmark’s royal family, Queen Margrethe, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary also issued a statement expressing their deepest sympathy.
“We do not yet know the full extent of the tragedy, but it is already clear that more people have lost their lives and that even more have been injured.”
The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, tweeted “Thinking of everyone in #Copenhagen tonight after horrific reports of several people killed in a shooting in a shopping mall. We are with you Denmark.”
The last time Copenhagen experienced a major shooting was in 2015 when a gunman attacked a free speech forum featuring controversial cartoonist Lars Vilks, killing one man and wounding three others.
The suspect was armed with a rifle and ammunition upon arrest according to the police. He was described as an “ethnic Dane” and will appear before a judge on Monday for questioning.
Shopkeepers have been urged to take note of any video footage recording of the incident.
One eyewitness spoke about her ordeal during the shooting. “Suddenly we hear shots. I think I hear 10 shots and then we run through the mall and end up in a toilet, where we huddle together in this tiny toilet, where we are around 11 people. It’s really hot and we wait and we are really scared. It’s been a terrible experience.”
Field’s shopping mall comprises of 140 shops and restaurants. The multi-stores mall is located on the outskirts of Copenhagen, just across from a subway line that connects to the city centre.