Nightmare in a mall in Copenhagen

A shootout left three people dead and several injured on Sunday at a Copenhagen shopping center, according to police, who arrested a suspect, a 22-year-old Dane.

The young man, armed according to witnesses with a large rifle, was arrested without violence shortly after the arrival of the police near the large Fields shopping mall, located between the city center and the airport of the Danish capital. .

“There are three dead and several injured, three of them in critical condition,” Copenhagen Police Chief Inspector Søren Thomassen told a news conference.

The motives of the suspect, described by police as a 22-year-old “ethnic Dane”, remain unclear. He is known to the police, “but only peripherally,” Thomassen said. “He’s not someone we particularly know. »

The three killed are a man in his forties and two young people whose ages have not been specified.

“On social media, you see posts suggesting it’s a racist motive, or some other form of motive, but I can’t say we have anything to back that up at this point,” he said. said the head of the investigation.

He was psychopathic enough to go stalking people, but he didn’t run

The police, however, confirmed that they are investigating videos published online claiming to show the suspect with weapons, the barrel of which he points to his temple, which also raise questions about his psychiatric condition. A little earlier, the investigators had refused to rule out an act of terrorism, but explained that their hypothesis was that the alleged shooter had acted alone.

Two days after the Tour de France passed through the Danish capital, with great scenes of jubilation, a large police force was deployed at the scene of the shooting and in several places in Copenhagen.

The killing occurred around 5:30 p.m. local time (3:30 p.m. GMT), causing panic. Many people were there before a concert by British star Harry Styles in a large hall nearby, which was canceled in the evening.

According to witnesses interviewed by Danish media, the suspect tried to entrap victims, saying for example that his weapon was fake to entice them to get closer. “He was psychopathic enough to go stalk people, but he didn’t run,” said a witness interviewed by public television DR.

When the first shots were heard, more than a hundred people rushed outside the mall, according to footage of the incident. Others were forced to hide inside.

“All of a sudden, we heard gunshots, I heard ten shots, and we ran as fast as we could to take refuge in the toilets”, explained to DR Isabella, who remained hidden there. two o’clock. “I was scared, a lot of people were crying. »

“Run for our life”

A crisis unit was triggered, according to the mayor of Copenhagen, Sophie Haestorp Andersen, as well as a psychological care center.

“My girls had to go see Harry Styles. They called me to say someone was shooting. They were in a restaurant when it happened,” Hans Christian Stolz, a 53-year-old Swede who came to pick up his children, told AFP. “We initially thought it was people running because they saw Harry Styles, then we realized it was people in panic. […] We ran for our lives,” adds his daughter, Cassandra.

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

Police gave no indication of the motives for the shooting. Footage of the arrest shows the suspect, dressed in a white jumpsuit to preserve DNA evidence, being led away by officers.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen blasted a “cruel attack” at a shopping mall where “adults, young people and children” were present. The Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II, and several foreign leaders sent their thoughts and condolences, as did the organization of the Tour de France.

The last attack in Copenhagen dates back to February 14 and 15, 2015, when a series of Islamist-motivated shootings left two dead and five injured.

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