3 dead, 4 critically injured in Copenhagen mall shooting; police say gunman shot people at random

·3 min read

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Three people are dead and several others are injured, including four in critical condition, after a shooting Sunday at a mall in Copenhagen, according to police.

A suspect, a 22-year-old Danish man who has not yet been named, was in custody after the shooting at the Field's shopping center, police said. The suspect appeared to act alone and target his victims randomly, officials said Monday, with no immediate signs of links to organized terror.

The suspect will appear in court later Monday and be charged with manslaughter, police said — a crime that carries a potential sentence of life in prison.

"My thoughts go to the wounded, relatives and others affected after this completely meaningless and terrible act," Justice Minister Mattias Tesfaye said in a news conference Monday.

"We do not yet know the motive behind it, but I can assure you that the authorities are making every effort to get to the bottom of this matter so that the person or persons responsible can be prosecuted," Tesfaye said.

Image: DENMARK-SHOOTING-CRIME-POLICE (Olafur Steinar Gestsson / AFP - Getty Images)
Image: DENMARK-SHOOTING-CRIME-POLICE (Olafur Steinar Gestsson / AFP - Getty Images)

The identities of those killed have not been released, but authorities said they are two 17-year-old Danes, one male and one female, and a 47-year-old Russian man living in Denmark, police inspector Søren Thomassen said in a news conference Monday.

The four critically injured are two Danes, a 40-year-old woman and a 19-year-old woman, and two Swedes, a 50-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl, officials said.

Officers conducted overnight raids on multiple addresses to gather evidence on the crime and establish if the suspect was working alone, Thomassen said, adding that nothing so far suggests he was working with others.

The suspect, whose identity was not released, had a rifle and ammunition when he was arrested. He does not have a criminal record, Thomassen said.

“We are convinced the arrested suspect is the shooter in the mall shooting,” he said.

Nothing so far indicates this was a terrorist attack, Thomassen added. The suspect did not have a relationship or links to any of the victims, he said.

The police chief also confirmed the subject has a known mental health condition.

Thomassen added that videos posted to social media, including YouTube, do show the suspect holding a rifle — these will be part of the police investigation, he said.

The rifle the suspect allegedly used was legal in Denmark, but he did not have a license for it, police said.

In a statement, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen extended her sympathies to those affected by the shooting and called for Danes to stand together.

“Denmark was hit by a cruel attack on Sunday night,” she said. “We have all been brutally torn out of the bright summer that we have just begun. It is incomprehensible. Heartbreaking. Pointless.”

Image: DENMARK-SHOOTING-CRIME-POLICE (Olafur Steinar Gestsson / AFP - Getty Images)
Image: DENMARK-SHOOTING-CRIME-POLICE (Olafur Steinar Gestsson / AFP - Getty Images)

Copenhagen police received an emergency alarm at 5:37 p.m. local time, and the suspect was arrested at 5:48 p.m., officials said.

In a tweet about 6:30 p.m., police said they were present “in large numbers” at the Field's shopping mall, where they had received reports of shootings.

About 15 minutes later, police tweeted that "several people" had been shot, and they urged people inside to await police and others not on the site to stay away from the mall.

An unverified video on social media appeared to show people running and screaming inside the mall as gunshots rang out. Witnesses said people inside the mall were crying and hiding in shops as they awaited news.

Police urged people who had been at the mall to contact their relatives.

The shopping mall will now remain closed for a week.

Image: DENMARK-SHOOTING-CRIME (Olafur Steinar Gestsson / AFP - Getty Images)
Image: DENMARK-SHOOTING-CRIME (Olafur Steinar Gestsson / AFP - Getty Images)

The mall is near the Royal Arena, where Harry Styles was scheduled to perform at a concert Sunday night. The concert was later canceled at the direction of Danish police, entertainment company Live Nation said.

"I’m devastated for the victims, their families, and everyone hurting," Styles said in a tweet. "I’m sorry we couldn’t be together. Please look after each other."

Camilla Fuhr reported from Copenhagen, Denmark; Julianne McShane reported from New York; and Patrick Smith reported from London.