The country had not experienced such a tragedy since 2015. Barely out of the fervor of the Tour de France, Denmark is bereaved after a shooting that left three dead and four seriously injured in a shopping center in the capital, Copenhagen, Sunday July 3. The police are now studying the motivations of the main suspect, a young Dane who was arrested without violence and placed in pre-trial detention in a psychiatric unit on Monday July 4. Here is what we know after this attack.
Three dead and four seriously injured in a shopping center
Copenhagen police received the first reports of a shooting around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, according to Chief Inspector Soren Thomassen. Shots rang out in Field’s shopping mall, one of the largest in all of Scandinavia, located between the Danish capital’s city center and the airport.
The first shots caused panic. Amateur videos show visitors rushing outside the mall, while others were forced to hide in shops. “We were about to order food, then we heard gunshots”told a witness to franceinfo. “I told my daughter who was sitting down to lie on the floor, then we rushed to the bathroom to disabled”, recount the survivor, who adds: “We closed the door, and we stayed there for maybe an hour and a half.” Witnesses tell Danish media that the suspect tried to trick victims, for example by saying that his weapon was fake to entice them to get closer.
The shooting killed three people: a 17-year-old Danish boy and girl, as well as a 47-year-old Russian who lived in Denmark, police said on Monday. The attack also left four seriously injured: two Danes aged 19 and 40, a 50-year-old Swede and a 16-year-old Swedish woman. The chief inspector added that other people had been slightly injured in the panic movement, without specifying their number.
A crisis unit and a center psychological care have been put in place, said the mayor of Copenhagen, Sophie Haestorp Andersen. A large police force was deployed at the scene of the shootings and in several places in the capital.
22-year-old Dane ‘known for psychiatric history’ remanded in custody
The main suspect was arrested without violence at 5:48 p.m., after police arrived near the shopping center. It is a 22 year old young man whose name has not been made public. He was known to the police “but only peripherally”.
“We are convinced that the man we have arrested is responsible”specified Soren Thomassen, adding that“He had in his possession a musket and ammunition for this gun on him”, according to Danish television TV2. He must be indicted for murder and questioned Monday by the Copenhagen police to clarify certain points. According to investigators, “There is no indication that he had any accomplices” Where “whether it is an act of terrorism”.
Lhe police assured that the author was “known for a psychiatric history”. She confirmed the authenticity of videos that have been circulating since Sunday evening on social networks, in which the suspect appears with weapons, mimes suicide gestures or evokes treatment with a powerful drug, prescribed in psychiatry, “which doesn’t work”. The suspect acted alone and chose his victims “randomly”said the local police chief. The Copenhagen court ordered the remand in custody “in a specialized psychiatric unit”police said on Monday on Twitter.
Danish Prime Minister denounces an “incomprehensible” and “senseless” act
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen denounced a “cruel attack” aiming “Innocent families out to shop or eat. Children, young people and adults.” “We were all brutally ripped from the joyful summer we had just begun”wrote the manager in a statementdeploring an act “incomprehensible. Heartbreaking. Insane.” The Royal Family of Denmark has also released a statement in which it conveys its “thoughts and deepest condolences” to all those affected, and calls for “unity”.
For its part, the organizer of the Tour de France (ASO) said “particularly shocked and saddened by the tragedy that has just struck Copenhagen”, while the Grande Boucle, which started from the Danish capital on Friday, played its third and final stage in the country on Sunday. ASO stresses in a short text that the inhabitants of Copenhagen “had given the runners one of the most fantastic welcomes in history”. Riders also spoke individually, such as the German John Degenkolb or the Canadian Michael Woods.
Singer Harry Styles, who was to give a concert on Sunday evening at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, less than a kilometer from the shopping center where the facts took place, finally canceled his performance. “My heart is broken”has tweeted British artist, “destroyed for the victims, their families and all who suffer”.
Shootings are rare in Denmark: the number of gun deaths in the country was just over one person per 100,000 people in 2018, according to the University of Sydney, compared to 2.42 per 100,000 people in France in 2016, for example. The Danish capital had not seen a shooting since the Islamist-motivated attacks of February 14 and 15, 2015, which also killed three people.