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A gunman killed 3 people and wounded others at a Copenhagen mall

Updated July 3, 2022 at 8:01 PM ET

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – A gunman opened fire inside a busy shopping mall in the Danish capital on Sunday, killing three and seriously injuring three, police said.

Copenhagen police inspector Soren Thomasen told reporters a 22-year-old Danish man had been arrested after the shooting, adding that there was no indication that anyone else was involved in the attack, although police were still investigating.

Gun violence is relatively rare in Denmark.

Thomasen said it was too early to guess the motive for the shooting, which took place last afternoon in Field’s, one of Scandinavia’s largest shopping malls and on the outskirts of the Danish capital. According to eyewitnesses, when the shots were fired, some people hid in the shop and others fled in panic.

“It’s pure terror. It’s horrible,” said Hans Christian Stoltz, a 53-year-old IT consultant who was bringing his daughters to perform at a scheduled concert Sunday night near the Harry Styles Mall. “You can imagine how a person can do this with other people, but it’s beyond that … beyond anything possible.”

Thomasen said one of the dead was a 40-year-old man and two were “young”, without elaborating. He said several others were injured, three of them in critical condition.

He said police received the first shots at 5.37pm and arrested the suspect 11 minutes later. Thomasen described the suspect as a “racial den”, a phrase commonly used to refer to someone white.

Danish broadcaster TV 2 has released a granular image of the alleged gunman, a man wearing knee-length shorts, a vest or sleeveless shirt and a rifle in his right hand. “He looked very violent and angry,” eyewitness Mahdi al-Wazni told TV2. “He talked to me and said it wasn’t real (rifle) because I was portraying him. He’s very proud of what he’s doing.”

The Prime Minister of Denmark, Mate Fredericksen, has said that the Scandinavian country has been the victim of a “brutal attack”.

“It’s understandable. Heartbreaking. Meaningless,” he said. “Our beautiful and usually so safe capital was changed in a split second.”

People evacuated from the Fields Shopping Center in Orestad, Copenhagen, Denmark, on Sunday, following reports of the shooting.

Olafur Steiner via Geston / Ritzau ScanPix AP


Ritzau Scanpix via AP

People evacuated from the Fields Shopping Center in Orestad, Copenhagen, Denmark, on Sunday, following reports of the shooting.

Images from the scene show people running from the mall, and TV2 posted a picture of a man holding a stretcher. After the shooting, a large group of heavily armed police officers patrolled the area, with several fire department vehicles also parked outside the mall.

Loris Harmansen told the Danish broadcaster DRK that she was with her family at a clothing store in a shopping center when she heard “three, four bangs. Really loud pushing. It looked like a shot was being fired right next to the store.”

The shopping center is for a line from a subway station on the outskirts of Copenhagen that connects the city center with the international airport. A large highway also runs adjacent to the mall.

Organizers canceled the Harry Styles concert, which was scheduled at the nearby Royal Arena, at the behest of police.

On Snapchat, Stiles wrote: “My team and I pray for everyone involved in the Copenhagen shopping mall shooting. I’m shocked. Love H.”

The royal palace says a reception with Crown Prince Frederick, associated with the Tour de France cycling race, has been canceled. The first three stages of the race were held in Denmark this year. The reception was to be held on the royal yacht, which is located in Schneiberg, the city where the third stage ended.

In a joint statement, Queen Margaret, her son Crown Prince Frederick and his wife Crown Princess Mary said: “We do not yet know the full extent of the tragedy, but it is already clear that more people have died and more have been injured.”

“The situation calls for unity and care,” they said in a statement.

The shooting comes a week after a mass shooting in neighboring Norway, where police say a Norwegian man of Iranian descent opened fire during the LGBTQ festival, killing two and injuring more than 20.

It was the worst gun attack in Denmark since February 2015, when a 22-year-old man was killed in a gunfight with police after a shooting in the capital that left two dead and five police officers injured.

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