“Three lives were taken from us. Those of a man and two young people. Several people were injured, the attack claimed many victims,” said Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, who addressed the crowd. massed in front of this shopping complex located between the center of Copenhagen and its airport.
“Cruel, unjust and senseless. Tonight we all mourn,” Ms Frederiksen added, calling for unity in the face of tragedy.
The attack, which occurred late Sunday afternoon, aroused great emotion in Denmark, at the end of a summer weekend marked by the unprecedented passage of the Tour de France and the great return of the giant rock festival of Roskilde, after cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
– “And if it had been my child?” –
“It’s not hard to imagine: What if it had been my child? I am the mother of two teenagers”, exclaimed Sophie Andersen, the mayor of Copenhagen, in a speech followed by a minute of silence. “Children and young people should not die. They should be immortal,” Ms Andersen added.
The Crown Prince of Denmark, Frederik, was also present at the ceremony, during which speeches were interspersed with musical performances. The crowd included many young people and families, some of whom were in tears.
“I’m quite ambivalent. Of course, it’s nice to see all these people who are here to support the people who have been hurt by this act, but I’m also a little scared,” commented Oliver Stoltz, who works in a sporting goods store inside the mall.
The 24-year-old witnessed the start of the shooting, hearing the first shots ring out.
“It was a place where I could go to work, be happy and have a good time. Now I dread even coming here to this part of town,” he says.
Because if the Danish capital has not escaped attacks in recent years, in particular jihadists, a carnage in a shopping center was a shock for many. “That kind of thing doesn’t happen in Denmark, it happens in the United States,” reacted Susanne Bulöw, a 65-year-old resident.
The Tour de France, back on French territory, paid tribute to the victims with a minute of applause before the start of the fourth stage.
– A difficult childhood –
The alleged perpetrator of the attack, a 22-year-old Dane who authorities say has a psychiatric history, was remanded in custody for murder on Monday.
Due to questions about his mental state, the judge decided that he would be detained in a psychiatric unit.
According to the national radio and television DR, citing several anonymous sources, he tried to join a psychological help line shortly before the events, which the authorities did not want to confirm.
Police said Tuesday they had no new information to report on the investigation.
According to a former neighbor interviewed by the daily Berlingske on condition of anonymity, the suspect is a disturbed person since childhood. “He attended a neighborhood school, but had to quit because he couldn’t cope with so many people gathered in one place,” he added.
The motive for the shooting remains unclear, but police said they had no evidence suggesting “a terrorist act” or having specific targets. His main assumption is that the victims were chosen “at random”.
The assailant is prosecuted for three murders, that of a 46-year-old Russian living in Denmark, a 17-year-old girl and a boy of the same age, both Danish. One of them worked in the mall cinema, his employer said.
The suspect is also being prosecuted for seven attempted murders.
Four of those hit by the gunfire were seriously injured but are in stable condition. According to the authorities, they are two Danish women aged 19 and 40, a Swede aged 50 and a Swedish woman aged 19.
Three other people were slightly injured: two Danish women aged 15 and 17 and a 45-year-old Afghan living in Denmark.
Closed since the attack, Fields Shopping Center is set to reopen on July 11.