Three people were killed and a minimum of three others were critically hurt in a shooting in Copenhagen on Sunday that sent terrified shoppers fleeing for safety in Denmark’s largest shopping mall, the authorities said.
Soren Thomassen, an inspector with the Copenhagen police, said early on Monday local time that the dead included a person in his 40s and two young people. He didn’t say how many individuals in total were injured, but said that three were in critical condition.
He said the police had taken a 22-year-old Dane into custody in reference to the shooting, which occurred around 6 p.m. local time. The authorities didn’t release any details about a possible motive, but believed that the person was acting alone.
“We’re convinced that the person we arrested is the perpetrator,” Mr. Thomassen said. “He had in his possession a rifle, and he had in his possession ammunition for that rifle.”
Gun violence in Denmark is comparatively rare, a minimum of compared with the USA, where shootings in public places have turn into commonplace. In response to a repository of gun violence data kept by the University of Sydney, Denmark has somewhat over one gun death per 100,000 people annually, while the USA has somewhat over 12.
The shooting on Sunday happened at Field’s shopping mall, which is described as nine minutes from Copenhagen’s center via the metro and hosts greater than 140 shops that include Danish and international fashion brands.
A mall worker told an area news outlet that “masses of individuals” had run to hunt shelter within the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant at Field’s. Staff members barricaded the doors and remained there for about 45 minutes, the worker said.
A witness, Mahdi Al-Wazni, told TV 2 News that he had seen the gunman.
“He seemed violent and offended, and he was shouting as he ran,” he said, adding that he saw the gunman smashing windows on the mall.
Other witnesses described scenes of panic and of employees’ helping shoppers flee through the back rooms of stores. One woman told TV 2 that she and her family had stopped at a store to get snacks for her 1-year-old daughter when the family heard a loud bang.
Rikke Olsen said that her husband at first thought the noise was someone setting off fireworks or throwing firecrackers. The noise was followed by a touch of mall patrons running toward the family.
Ms. Olsen turned around and saw a person holding what gave the impression to be a rifle, which he was loading, she said.
“I turn around and I run just as fast as I can holding my 3-year-old boy’s hand,” she said. “I just pull him with me, after which I lose my grip, and persons are stepping on him, because they’re running.”
She picked him up and continued to run.
In an announcement late Sunday, Denmark’s prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, urged Danes to be united within the aftermath of the “cruel attack.”
“Several people were killed,” she said. “Much more were injured. Innocent families out shopping or eating. Children, young people and adults.”
“Now we have all been brutally torn out of the intense summer we had just begun,” she continued. “It is meaningless. Heartbreaking. Meaningless. Our beautiful and frequently so secure capital was modified in a split second.”
On the time of the shooting, fans of Harry Styles had gathered nearby in the town’s Royal Arena waiting for the previous One Direction singer to perform. At about 8 p.m. the gang of 17,000 were told the concert can be postponed, but 90 minutes later were told the show had been canceled over “safety concerns,” the BBC reported.
“I’m heartbroken together with the people of Copenhagen,” Mr. Styles said on Twitter. “I like this city. The persons are so warm and filled with love. I’m devastated for the victims, their families, and everybody hurting. I’m sorry we couldn’t be together. Please take care of one another.”
Christine Chung contributed reporting.