HomeWorld NewsCopenhagen shooting: Danish police cannot rule out terror in mall attack

Copenhagen shooting: Danish police cannot rule out terror in mall attack

By Matt Murphy

BBC News

Media caption,

Watch: Panic as people flee gunfire in Copenhagen mall

Danish police have arrested a 22-year-old man in connection with a deadly shooting at a Copenhagen shopping mall.

Police chief Soeren Thomassen said the motive was unclear, but that he could not rule out an “act of terrorism”.

Mr Thomassen said several people had been killed in Sunday’s shooting, adding it was too early to provide exact figures.

Eyewitnesses have spoken of panic among shoppers as gunfire rang out inside the Field’s mall in the south of the city.

Emilie Jeppesen told Jyllands-Posten newspaper: “You didn’t know what was happening. Suddenly there was just chaos everywhere.”

Another witness, Mahdi Al-Wazni, told TV2 that the shooter had carried a “hunting rifle”.

Speaking at a news conference on Sunday evening, Mr Thomassen said it was too early to say how many people had been harmed in the attack.

But he told reporters that there was no indication that other attackers were involved and urged shop owners to preserve any video surveillance footage they might have.

Image source, Mahdi al Wazni

Image caption,

The alleged shooter wandering around inside Field’s Shopping Centre

He described the man detained as an “ethnic Dane”.

Field’s is said to be the largest shopping centre in Denmark, with over 140 shops and restaurants. The multi-storey mall is located on the outskirts of Copenhagen, just across from a subway line that connects to the city centre.

A concert British singer Harry Styles was due to perform at a venue less than a mile from the scene has now been cancelled.

Writing on Snapchat, Styles said: “My team and I pray for everyone involved in the Copenhagen shopping mall shooting. I am shocked. Love H.”

Image source, Reuters

Image caption,

Security forces secured the scene

Image source, Reuters

Image caption,

People comforted each other outside the shopping centre

Image source, EPA

Image caption,

People outside the mall were visibly distressed

Shortly after the shooting, the Danish royal family announced that a reception due to be hosted by Crown Prince Frederik been cancelled. The event had been organised to celebrate Denmark hosting the first three stages of the Tour de France.

In a joint statement, Queen Margrethe, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary said their “deepest sympathy” was with “the victims, their relatives and all those who are affected by the tragedy”.

“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 statement said.

Several neighbouring leaders expressed horror at the shooting and offered condolences to the families of those impacted.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin condemned what she called a “shocking act of violence” and Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin offered his “deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those killed and injured”.

Norwegian leader Jonas Gahr Store said his “thoughts go to the victims and their relatives and to the relief crews who are currently working to save lives”.

Denmark last saw a major terror event in 2015, when two people were killed and six police officers were injured during an attack on a cultural centre and a synagogue in Copenhagen.

The gunman was later killed in a shootout with police.

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