Many questions are unanswered in view of the brutal act of violence in Denmark’s capital. Is the arrested 22-year-old the perpetrator? Did he act alone? And why was he firing into the crowd?
After the bloody crime in a Copenhagen shopping center that left at least three people dead, the Danish police are feverishly searching for the background to the crime.
“We do not yet know the motive, but I can assure you that the authorities are doing everything they can to clarify this case and those responsible can be prosecuted,” said Justice Minister Mattias Tesfaye of the Ritzau agency.
Police Chief Inspector Søren Thomassen said the victims were a man between the ages of 40 and 50 and two young people, according to local media. Three other people were seriously injured and in critical condition. At first, the police did not give the exact number of victims.
Probably lone perpetrator
Thomassen did not provide any information about the possible motive. There is speculation about a racist background on social media, he said. There is currently no evidence of this.
The police arrested a 22-year-old Dane in connection with the crime. The suspected shooter was “basically known” to the police, said Thomassen. He did not provide any further information on this. Police believe the perpetrator acted alone.
“Until we are absolutely certain that the hypothesis is correct, we will conduct a wide-ranging investigation and maintain a massive operational presence in Copenhagen until we can say he was alone,” Thomassen said. The man had a gun and ammunition with him when he was arrested. Another weapon may have been involved.
Gunshots were heard on amateur video from inside the building. Others showed a man walking past shops with a long gun in hand.
The arrested person is to be questioned today, it was said. He will be charged with manslaughter. However, the allegation could still change. The police initially did not want to say whether the man was a member of a rifle club and whether he legally owned the gun.
calls for cohesion
The Danish royal family called for cohesion. “The situation requires unity and care, and we thank the police, the emergency services and the health authorities for their quick and effective action during these hours,” said a statement from Queen Margrethe II and the crown prince couple – Frederik and Mary – late Sunday evening.
The royal family was affected by the “shocking news”. “Our thoughts and our deepest sympathy are with the victims, their families and all those affected by the tragedy.” After the fact became known, the royal family had already canceled a reception with Crown Prince Frederik.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen condemned the act as a “cruel attack”. She called on the people of the country to stick together and support one another. “We were all brutally torn from the bright summer we had just begun,” shared Fredriksen. “It is incomprehensible. heartbreaking. useless. Our beautiful and otherwise so safe capital was changed in a fraction of a second.»
Copenhagen in a state of emergency
Emergency services cordoned off the entire island of Zealand, on which the Danish capital is located. Several roads and highway exits were closed. In order to have more forces available to investigate the bloody deed, soldiers took over guard duties from the police. The authorities set up a place where eyewitnesses could give their testimony and receive psychological support.
A performance by British singer Harry Styles at a nearby concert hall has been cancelled. The concert organizer Live Nation announced that this was done on the orders of the Danish police. It was initially unclear whether the show would be rescheduled.
“We are all devastated by the events of the day and our thoughts are with the victims and their families.” It is assumed that many concertgoers stayed in the shopping center just a few hundred meters away, for example to eat something.