Police: There are no indications of a terrorist attack
Shots bang, then panic breaks out. Three people are killed in a shopping center in Copenhagen. A suspect is caught. But what is his motive?
Horror at the horrific act of blood in Denmark’s capital!
Further, four people were injured, police said Monday morning: 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.
Police arrested a 22-year-old Dane named “Noah Esbensen” as the suspected perpetrator, who had been “basically known” to police. The man had confessed to the crime during the night, police said Monday morning. There were no indications of a terrorist attack, according to police.
According to Danish media, this is to show the 22-year-old perpetrator after his arrest. Noah Esbensen still confessed to the crime on Monday night.
Investigators had worked through the night, could therefore still bring the man before a magistrate on Monday. There were no indications of helpers or accomplices. The police have ruled out the possibility of a terrorist act. Meanwhile, the investigation continues at full speed.
According to the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet, Noah Esbensen was a member of a shooting club. This could have given him access to weapons and ammunition.
The police did not want to give any information about the possible motive on Monday morning. In social media, there is speculation about a racist background, he said. According to the police, nothing points to this at the moment. Rather, the perpetrator seems to have chosen his victims at random. Noah Esbensen had apparently been undergoing psychiatric treatment, he said.
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Justice Minister Mattias Tesfaye also remained silent on the matter. He told Ritzau Agency, “We don’t know the motive yet, but I can assure that the authorities are doing everything to solve this case and those responsible can be prosecuted.”
The emergency call from the mall was received at 5:35 p.m.; at 5:48 p.m., police overpowered the alleged perpetrator. When apprehended, the man reportedly had a rifle and ammunition with him. However, another weapon may have been involved, explained Chief Inspector Thomassen.
Police believe the perpetrator acted alone: “Until we are absolutely sure of the hypothesis, we will conduct a wide-ranging investigation and maintain a massive operational presence in Copenhagen until we can say he was alone.”
A police search operation is ongoing, he said. “We will conduct an extensive investigation and maintain a massive operational presence in Copenhagen until we can say with certainty: He was alone.” However, he said there were no initial indications of other shooters.
Field’s is a large shopping center in the relatively new Ørestad neighborhood in southern Copenhagen. Nearby is also the large multi-purpose hall Royal Arena.
On Monday morning, chief physicians at Copenhagen University Hospital held a press conference on the condition of the injured. “We have three seriously injured people. Two are stable, a third person is still a critical condition. Due to confidentiality, we cannot say which of the injured is in critical condition. A fourth shooting victim is being treated at a hospital in Herlev.”
There were 31 ambulances on the scene shortly after the shooting began, he said. As a result, he said, initial treatment of the victims was able to begin quickly. Many people had been injured during their escape, about their number there was no information.
Eyewitness filmed perpetrator
A fearless eyewitness filmed the attacker. A man with a rifle can be seen in front of stores in the mall, gunshots can be heard.
The video was recorded by Mahdi Al-Wazni. He told the newspaper “Jyllands-Posten” that he discovered the perpetrator when he was looking for his daughter (2).
An eyewitness filmed the shooter at Field’s: he was wearing a long gun, three-quarter pants and a vest. Here he is standing next to the Internet café “G4me Time” (on the left in the picture) and the cinema “Nordisk Film Biografer”.
Al-Wazni: “He was wearing hunting clothes. Short pants and a black vest. He was wearing an upturned cap. He could see that I was filming him.”
Police officers take Noah Esbensen away
Noah Esbensen laughed and said they weren’t real shots, he said. “Maybe he was trying to trick me and get a little closer,” Al-Wazni said. “He was shooting and breaking windows. I think he shot five to six times, but I didn’t see him hit anyone.”
Police Chief Inspector Søren Thomassen visibly shocked at first press conference
An eyewitness on “TV2”: “I was standing on the top floor with my girlfriend and could see people suddenly running towards the exit. Then we heard a bang and we also ran out.”
Another customer from the shopping center told public broadcaster “DR” that he was in a clothing store with his family when he heard “three-four bangs”: “Really loud bangs. It sounded like the shots were fired right next to the store.”
Witnesses also told the newspaper Jyllands-Posten that they heard gunshots. “You didn’t know what was happening. Suddenly chaos broke out everywhere,” said Emilie Jeppesen (20).
Her friend Astrid Kofoed Jørgensen said, “Everyone in the restaurant was sent to the kitchen, then we sat there and could hear three or four shots.”
The arrested man is to be questioned this Monday. He would be charged with manslaughter. However, the charge could still change. Police would not initially say whether the man was a member of a gun club and whether he legally owned the weapon.