Three killed in Denmark after shooting at Copenhagen shopping center

Authorities said three people were killed and at least three others critically injured in a shooting in Copenhagen on Sunday that caused terrified shoppers to flee for safety in Denmark’s largest shopping mall.

Soren Thomassen, a Copenhagen police inspector, said early Monday morning local time that a man in his 40s and two young men were among the dead. He did not say how many people were injured in total, but said three were in critical condition.

He said police had taken the 22-year-old Dane into custody in connection with the shooting, which took place around 6 p.m. local time. Authorities did not release any information about possible motives, but believed the man acted alone.

“We are convinced that the person we have arrested is a criminal,” he said. Thomassen said. “He had a rifle and he had cartridges for that rifle.”

Gun violence is relatively rare in Denmark, at least compared to the United States, where shootings in public places have become commonplace. According to the Gun Violence Data Repository held by the University of Sydney, Denmark has just over one gun death per 100,000 people annually, while in the United States just over 12.

The shooting on Sunday took place in Field mallwhich is described as a nine-minute metro ride from downtown Copenhagen and contains over 140 stores featuring Danish and international fashion brands.

Shopping center employee told the local news agency that “masses of people” ran to seek refuge at the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in the Fields. According to the employee, the staff barricaded the doors and stayed there for about 45 minutes.

Witness Mahdi Al-Wazni told TV 2 News that he saw the shooter.

“He seemed violent and angry and he screamed as he ran,” he said, adding that he saw the shooter break windows at the mall.

Other witnesses described scenes of panic and how employees helped shoppers escape through store backrooms. One woman told TV 2 that she and her family were stopping at the store to buy snacks for her one-year-old daughter when the family heard a loud bang.

Rikke Olsen said her husband first thought it was the noise of someone setting off fireworks or throwing firecrackers. The noise was followed by a crowd of mall patrons running towards the family.

RS. Olsen turned around and saw a man holding what appeared to be a rifle he was loading, she said.

“I turn around and run as fast as I can while holding my 3-year-old boy’s hand,” she said. “I just pull him along and then I lose my grip and people step on him because they’re running.”

She picked it up and continued to run.

In a statement late Sunday evening, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen urged Danes to unite after the “brutal attack”.

“Several people died,” she said. “More injured. Innocent families go shopping or eat. Children, youth and adults.”

“We were all brutally pulled out of a vibrant summer that had just begun,” she continued. “Then it just became known to us. Heartbreaking. meaningless. Our beautiful and usually so safe capital changed in a split second.”

At the time of the shooting, Harry Styles fans had gathered nearby at the city’s Royal Arena, waiting for the former One Direction vocalist to perform. Around 8 p.m., a crowd of 17,000 people were told the concert would be postponed, only to be told 90 minutes later that the show had been canceled due to “security concerns”. reports the BBC.

“I have a broken heart along with the people of Copenhagen,” he said. Styles said on Twitter. “I love this city. The people are so warm and full of love. I am devastated for the victims, their families and all those affected. I’m sorry we couldn’t be together. Please take care of each other.”

Christine Chang made a report.