- Matt Murphy and Patrick Jackson
- BBC News
Three people have been killed and some injured, three of them seriously, after a man opened fire on people in Denmark’s largest shopping mall, Danish police said.
The 22-year-old man has been arrested and charged with causing panic. Danish police chief Thomassen (Soeren Thomassen) told the media that the motive for the suspect’s killing was not yet clear, but he did not rule out that the attack was a “terrorist” act.
The shooting took place on Sunday (July 3) at the Field’s mall in the southern Danish capital Copenhagen. Shoppers inside the mall panicked and fled for their lives when the shooting happened.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen issued a statement saying Denmark had been brutally attacked. She offered her condolences to those who lost loved ones and hoped to encourage Danes to come together and support each other during this difficult time.
“Denmark was brutally attacked on Sunday night,” she said. “Several lives were lost. Many were injured, including those out shopping or dining, children, teenagers and adults in innocent households.”
“Our beautiful and always safe capital has changed in an instant,” she added.
The Danish royal family said it offered its “deepest sympathies” to “the victims, their relatives and all those affected by this tragedy”.
“We do not yet know the full picture of this tragedy, but it is clear that many people have been killed and many more injured,” Queen Margaret, Crown Prince Frederick and Princess Mary said in a joint statement.
Danish police said the suspect in the attack at the mall was armed with a rifle and ammunition when he was arrested. The suspect, described by police as a “Danish”, will be questioned by a judge on Monday (July 4).
The country’s police also said there was no indication that other attackers were involved in the shooting, and urged mall operators to keep any surveillance footage they might have.
There are more than 140 shops and restaurants within the Field Mall. This multi-storey mall is located on the outskirts of Copenhagen, just across from a metro line connecting to the city centre.
Witnesses said there was panic among the shopping crowd after the gunshots, with a member of the public named Isabelle telling Danish media, “Suddenly, we heard gunshots. I think I heard ten shots, and then we I ran through the mall and ended up at a toilet and there were about 11 people crammed into this tiny toilet.”
“It was hot and we were waiting inside and we were really scared. It was a horrible experience.”
British pop star Harry Styles has called off a concert less than a mile from the venue.
Stiles wrote on social media Snapchat: “My team and I are praying for everyone in the Copenhagen shopping mall shooting. I’m in shock! Love you H.”
Shortly after the shooting, the Danish royal family also announced the cancellation of a reception hosted by Crown Prince Frederik. The event celebrates Denmark hosting the first three stages of the Tour de France.
Leaders of some of Denmark’s neighbouring countries also expressed shock at the shooting and offered their condolences to the families of those affected.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin condemned the “appalling atrocity”. Irish Prime Minister Martin also expressed “deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the dead and wounded”. Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said his “condolences to the victims and their relatives, as well as to the rescuers who are currently working to save lives”.
The last major terrorist attack in Denmark was in 2015, when a cultural centre and a synagogue in Copenhagen were attacked, killing two people and injuring six police officers. The gunman was later killed in a shootout with police.