According to police, a gunman opened fire inside a busy shopping mall in Denmark’s capital on Sunday, killing three people and critically injuring three more.
After the shooting, a 22-year-old Danish man was arrested, according to Copenhagen police inspector Sren Thomassen, who added that there was no indication that anyone else was involved in the attack, though police were still investigating.
Gun violence is uncommon in Denmark.
Thomassen said it was too early to speculate on the motive for the shooting, which occurred in the late afternoon at Field’s, one of Scandinavia’s largest shopping malls on the outskirts of Copenhagen. According to witnesses, when the shots rang out, some people hid in shops while others fled in a panicked stampede.
Thomassen stated that the victims included a man in his 40s and two “young people,” but provided no further details. Several others were hurt, he said, three of them critically.
He said that at 5.37 p.m., police received the first reports of a shooting and arrested the suspect 11 minutes later. Thomassen described the suspect as a “ethnic Dane,” a term used to describe someone who is white.
A grainy photo of the alleged gunman, a man wearing knee-length shorts, a vest or sleeveless shirt, and holding what appeared to be a rifle in his right hand, was released by Danish broadcaster TV2. “He appeared to be very violent and angry,” said eyewitness Mahdi Al-Wazni to TV2. “As I was filming him, he spoke to me and said isn’t a real gun.”
He appeared to be very proud of what he was doing.”
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the country had been subjected to a “cruel attack.”
“It’s inexplicable.” Heartbreaking. “It’s pointless,” she said. “Our beautiful and usually safe capital was transformed in an instant.”
Images from the scene showed people fleeing the mall, and TV2 posted a picture of a man being carried out on a stretcher. Following the shooting, a large number of heavily armed police officers patrolled the area, with several fire department vehicles parked outside the mall.
Laurits Hermansen told Danish broadcaster DR that he was in a clothing store with his family at the shopping center when he heard “three, four bangs.” Bangs that are extremely loud.
The shots sounded like they were fired right next to the store.”
The shopping center is located on the outskirts of Copenhagen, directly across from a subway station for a line connecting the city center to the international airport. A major highway also runs alongside the mall.
By police order, organizers canceled the Harry Styles concert, which had been scheduled at the nearby Royal Arena.
“My team and I pray for everyone involved in the Copenhagen shopping mall shooting,” Styles wrote on Snapchat. I am shocked.
The royal palace announced the cancellation of a reception with Crown Prince Frederik related to the Tour de France cycling race. This year, the first three stages of the race were held in Denmark. The reception was scheduled to take place on the royal yacht, which is docked in Soenderborg, where the third stage concluded.
“We do not yet know the full extent of the tragedy,” said Queen Margrethe, her son Crown Prince Frederik, and his wife Crown Princess Mary in a joint statement.
“The situation necessitates unity and concern,” they said in a statement.
The shooting happened just a week after a mass shooting in neighboring Norway, where police said a Norwegian man of Iranian origin opened fire during an LGBTQ festival, killing two people and injuring more than 20 others.
It was Denmark’s deadliest gun attack since February 2015, when a 22-year-old man was killed in a shootout with police after going on a shooting spree in the capital that killed two people and injured five police officers.