The 22-year-old Danish citizen arrested after the shooting in the Fields shopping center on Amager in Copenhagen has admitted to having committed the act, the head of the police in the Danish capital, Chief Inspector Søren Thomasen, said, according to local media. Fields is one of Scandinavia’s largest shopping and entertainment centers.
The perpetrator shot the victims indiscriminately. Three people died in the attack: a 47-year-old Russian citizen living in Denmark and a 17-year-old boy and girl. Four have gunshot wounds, one of whom is in critical condition, Casper Claudius, chief physician of the hospital where the injured are being treated, told a press conference. The other three are out of danger. There were also victims who suffered minor injuries as they fled the mall in panic, Thomasen said.
The incident is not being treated as an act of terrorism, according to the police chief. Police have not said anything else about a possible motive. Some speculate shooting may be related to a motorcycle or gang.
As per the local media, police had detained three people. One person was hit by shots in the arm, while the other two were unharmed. One of the detainees was wearing a bulletproof vest when he was apprehended just outside the shopping centre on the central terrace on Arne Jacobsens Allé.
“In the course of the investigation, no data, documents or witness accounts have been found to indicate that this is terrorism,” Thomasen told Danish television. He said the perpetrator appeared to have acted alone but did not reveal more details about what he told law enforcement. The man had previously sought help in a psychiatric clinic.
At a press conference later, Thomassen clarified that he was carrying a rifle and a knife. He also had access to a gun. “So far, it looks like the guns were legal, but he didn’t have a permit for them,” Thomassen said.
Police searched a home in Copenhagen’s Valby district. “We still don’t know the motive, but I can assure you that the authorities are doing everything they can to solve this case and bring whoever is guilty to justice,” Danish Minister of Justice Matthias Tesfaye told the Ritzau agency.
At this time, a large area around the crime scene remains cordoned off.
“We are carrying out extensive investigations and are continuing to work in and around the Fields shopping centre,” police tweeted. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen described the incident as a “horrific attack”. Our beautiful and usually so safe capital was changed in a split second, added Frederiksen, quoted by the Associated Press. “All this is incomprehensible, shocking and senseless,” she said.
The Danish royal family called for “unity” at this difficult time and thanked the competent authorities for the quick response to what happened. “We are thinking of the victims, which was due to take place at the nearby Royal Arena, was postponed until further notice because of the shooting.
It is the second such shooting in the Scandinavian city in less than a week, after an attack on a gay bar in central Oslo last weekend left two people dead and 21 injured.