Three killed in Copenhagen mall shooting, 22-year-old suspect arrested
COPENHAGEN, July 4, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - A gunman killed three people and wounded
several others in a shooting at a busy Copenhagen mall on Sunday as panicked
shoppers said they ran for their lives.
A 22-year-old Danish man was arrested after the shooting but his motives were
unclear, police said.
The shooter, who was believed to have acted alone, was known to the police
"but only peripherally".
"He's not someone we particularly know," Copenhagen police chief Soren
Thomassen told a news conference after the rare mass shooting, the first
since February 2015.
The young man, who according to witnesses was armed with a large rifle, was
arrested peacefully shortly after police arrived at the large Fields shopping
mall, located between the city centre and Copenhagen airport.
"There are three dead and several injured, three of them in critical
condition," Thomassen said.
The three dead were a man in his forties and two young people whose ages were
On social networks, people had been speculating about a racist motive, or
some other motive, the head of the investigation said, "but I cannot say that
we have anything which supports that at this moment."
Police however confirmed they were investigating videos posted online which
claimed to show the suspect with weapons and pointing a gun at his head.
Images from the scene showed parents carrying their children as they fled the
building and ambulance personnel taking people away on stretchers.
- 'We ran for our lives' -
The shooting occurred around 5:30 pm, causing panic in the mall. Many
visitors were there for a concert with British singer Harry Styles at the
nearby Royal Arena, which was cancelled.
"My daughters were supposed to go see Harry Styles. They called me to say
someone was shooting. They were in a restaurant when it happened," Hans
Christian Stolz, a 53-year-old Swede who came to pick up his children, told
"We thought at first people were running because they had seen Harry Styles,
then we understood that it was people in panic ... We ran for our lives," his
daughter Cassandra said.
Styles said he was devastated by news of the attack.
"I'm heartbroken along with the people of Copenhagen. I adore this city," the
singer posted on Twitter.
"I'm devastated for the victims, their families, and everyone hurting. I'm
sorry we couldn't be together. Please look after each other."
The attack occurred two days after this year's Tour de France cycling
competition started from Copenhagen, and the Tour organisers released a
statement expressing their sympathy.
"The entire caravan of the Tour de France sends its sincerest condolences to
the victims and their families," it said.
Witnesses quoted by the Danish media described how the suspect had tried to
trick people by saying his weapon was a fake one, to get them to approach.
"He was sufficiently psychopathic to go and hunt people, but he wasn't
running," one witness told DR state television.
Other eyewitnesses told Danish media they had seen more than 100 people rush
towards the mall's exit as the first shots were fired.
"We could see that many people suddenly ran towards the exit and then we
heard a bang," Thea Schmidt, who was in the mall at the time of the attack
told broadcaster TV2. "Then we ran out of Field's too."
- 'We heard gunshots' -
Police had urged people in the building to wait inside for their arrival,
calling on others to keep away from the area.
"All of a sudden we heard gunshots, I heard 10 shots, and we ran as far as we
could to take refuge in the toilet," Isabella told public broadcaster DR. She
said she had hidden in the mall for two hours.
Other witnesses described the gunman as a man around 1.8 metres (five feet
nine inches) tall carrying a hunting rifle.
Footage of the arrest shows the suspect, wearing a white jumpsuit to preserve
DNA evidence, being picked up by officers.
"Denmark was hit by a cruel attack on Sunday night. Several were killed. Even
more wounded. Innocent families shopping or eating out," Prime Minister Mette
Frederiksen said in a statement.
"Our beautiful and usually so safe capital was changed in a split second."
The Danish royal family said their "thoughts and deepest sympathy are with
the victims and their relatives and all those affected by the tragedy".
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said she was "greatly saddened to hear
about the shocking act of violence" while Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr
Store said his "thoughts go to the victims and their relatives and to the
relief crews who are currently working to save lives".
The shooting comes just over a week after a gunman opened fire near a gay bar
in Oslo in neighbouring Norway, killing two people and wounding 21 others.
In February of 2015, two people were killed and five injured in Copenhagen in
a series of Islamist-motivated shootings.