At least three people were killed when a gunman opened fire in a Copenhagen shopping center Sunday, police said. Police inspector Soren Thomassen said several others were injured, including three in critical condition.
Thomassen, head of the Copenhagen police operations unit, said the suspect, who is being held, is a 22-year-old Danish man who was arrested near the Fields shopping centre.
Thomasen said the three victims were a man in his forties and two “young men”.
Earlier Sunday, Thomassen said it was too early to speculate on a motive, but said terrorism could not be ruled out immediately. He pointed out that the police “have no information about the involvement of others. This is what we know now.”
Police said later on Sunday that the suspect was in possession of a gun and ammunition when he was arrested. He has been charged with premeditated murder and is expected to appear before a judge on Monday.
He said the police first received reports of the shooting at 5:37 pm local time, and arrested the suspect 11 minutes later. Thomasen described the suspect as an “ethnic Dane,” a phrase commonly used to refer to a person being white.
Denmark’s TV2 channel published a grainy photo of the alleged gunman, a man in knee-length shorts and a sleeveless jacket or shirt and holding what appears to be a rifle in his right hand. “He looked very violent and angry,” eyewitness Mahdi Wazni told TV2. “He talked to me and said it wasn’t real because I was filming him. He seemed so proud of what he was doing.”
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the Scandinavian country had been “brutally attacked”.
“It’s incomprehensible,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking. It doesn’t make sense.” “Our beautiful and very safe capital was changed in a split second.”
Pictures from the site showed people running outside the mall, and Danish channel TV2 published a picture of a man on a stretcher. Witnesses said people were crying and hiding in stores.
Loritz Hermansen told the Danish broadcaster that he was in a clothing store in the shopping center with his family when he heard “three, four bangs. Really loud bangs. It looked like shots were fired right next to the store.”
The shopping center is located on the outskirts of Copenhagen, opposite an underground station for a line connecting the city center to the international airport. A major highway also runs right next to the mall.
A concert by former One Direction member Harry Styles that was scheduled to take place on Sunday night at the nearby Royal Arena has been cancelled.
“I am sad with the people of Copenhagen. I adore this city. The people are so warm and full of love. I feel so sad for the victims, their families, and everyone who is in pain,” Stiles chirp. “I’m sorry we couldn’t be together. Please take care of each other. H.”
The royal palace said a reception with Crown Prince Frederick in connection with the cycling race in France had been cancelled. The first three stages of the race were held in Denmark this year. The reception was scheduled to take place aboard a royal yacht moored in Soenderborg, the city where Phase III ended.
Queen Margaret, her son, Crown Prince Frederick and his wife, Crown Princess Mary, said in a joint statement: “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 they are dead. More people have been injured.”
“The situation calls for unity and care,” they said in a statement.