Three victims and still many questions. A young man, armed according to witnesses with a large rifle, and at the origin of a shooting, was arrested without violence shortly after the arrival of the police near the large Fields shopping mall, located between the center- city and the airport of the Danish capital, Copenhagen. The three dead are a Danish boy and girl, both 17, and a 47-year-old Russian living in Denmark, police said. The four injured, who are in serious condition, are two Danish women aged 19 and 40 and two Swedes, a 50-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl.
The motives of the suspect, described by the police as a 22-year-old “ethnic Dane”, remain unclear. This Monday, Søren Thomassen, the local police chief inspector, indicated that the latter had chosen his victims “at random”. The day before, he had revealed that the suspect was known to the police “but only peripherally”.
The alleged perpetrator of the Copenhagen shooting also has a psychiatric history, police said the day after the killings on Monday, saying there is no indication at this stage of “a terrorist act”. Videos, published online the day before, already questioned his psychiatric state, showing the suspect with weapons, the barrel of which he points at his temple.
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, causing panic. Many visitors were there before a concert by British star Harry Styles in a nearby large hall, 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 stalking 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 everything we could to take refuge in the toilets”, explained to DR Isabella, who remained hidden there for two hours. “I was scared, a lot of people were crying.”
A crisis unit was triggered, according to the mayor of Copenhagen Sophie Haestorp Andersen, as well as a psychological care center.
“My daughters were supposed 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, told AFP. came to pick up his children there. “We thought at first that it was people who were running because they had seen Harry Styles, then we understood that 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 picked up by officers.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen blasted a “cruel attack” at a shopping center where “adults, young people and children” were found. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark 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.