Copenhagen shopping mall shooting: Suspect remanded to mental institution for 24 days, police say

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The 22-year-old Dane was known to psychiatric professionals, police said earlier.

At a Monday morning press conference, Copenhagen Police Chief Soren Thomassen said two 17-year-old Danish citizens, a man and a woman, and a 47-year-old Russian national were killed in the beatings. of fire.

Two other Danes and two Swedish nationals had been shot and were hospitalized in critical but stable condition, while several others were lightly injured leaving the mall, Thomassen said.

In a statement on Monday, police said three people were lightly injured by stray bullets. A total of 27 people were injured or injured in the attack, including 20 “slightly injured during the evacuation”, the statement added.

The man arrested in connection with the shooting is currently the only suspect. Thomassen said there was no indication the suspect was acting with other people, but an investigation was ongoing.

Earlier, police said they detained the suspect 13 minutes after receiving the first emergency call, and that he was “carrying a gun and ammunition” at the time of his arrest.

At Monday’s press conference, Thomassen said there was no indication the attack was an “act of terror” or gender-motivated, and police believe the victims were chosen at random. The suspect was “known to people in the psychiatric community”, he said.

Mass shootings are rare in Denmark

Armed violence is relatively rare in Denmark. The last major shooting in Copenhagen was in 2015, when a gunman attacked a free speech forum featuring controversial cartoonist Lars Vilks, killing one man and injuring three others.

As investigators piece together the circumstances that led to Sunday’s fatal shooting, questions are being raised about how the alleged shooter could have obtained the gun and ammunition used in the attack, as Denmark is believed to be having some of the most restrictive gun laws in Europe. .

While in the US gun ownership is conditionally guaranteed by the US Constitution, in Denmark the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law, according to GunPolicy.org , an organization that monitors international firearms policy.

Through restrictive licensing, Danish authorities attempt to reduce gun violence by drastically reducing the number of firearms in circulation. A firearms license applicant in Denmark must pass a background check that considers criminal and mental health, GunPolicy.org said.

Only licensed firearm owners can legally acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition. Applicants for a gun owner’s license in Denmark are required to establish a genuine reason for owning a firearm, eg hunting, target shooting, collecting, according to GunPolicy.org

Danish police confirmed on Monday that the suspected shooter did not have a license, according to Thomassen, Copenhagen’s police chief.

‘Run, run, run, they’re still shooting in there’

Eyewitness Joachim Olsen, a former Danish politician and athlete, told CNN he was on his way to a gym inside Field’s when he saw large groups of people exiting the mall.

“It looked like something, I’m sorry to say, like something you’d see from a school shooting in the United States, people sticking out with their hands above their heads,” Olsen said.

“You have people running out, looking for friends and calling friends and family who were inside, some talking to friends who were inside,” he said. “Older people with their arms around the necks of the people wearing them, their feet just being dragged on the floor.”

Outside the mall, Olsen spoke to a man who spoke to an off-duty paramedic whose arms “were covered in blood up to the elbows.”

“He wanted to go home but the police wouldn’t let him,” Olsen said.

According to Olsen, security tried to keep the crowds away from the mall.

“At one point we were rushed in. The police came and said, ‘Run, run, run, they’re still shooting in there. “”

A spokesperson for Rigshospitalet, Denmark’s largest hospital, told CNN the hospital had taken in multiple victims and called in additional staff to deal with the emergency.

A victim hotline has been opened and police say they have set up a central location where eyewitnesses can get help and report their experiences to law enforcement officials.

Danish police said on Sunday they had evacuated thousands of people from the Royal Arena site next to the mall. The arena was supposed to host a Harry Styles concert, but it was canceled after the shooting.
In a statement on Sunday evening, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen sent her condolences to the injured, their relatives and those bereaved, as well as to “all Danes who have been close to these frightening events”.

“We were all brutally torn from the bright summer that had just begun. It is incomprehensible. Heartbreaking. Insignificant. Our beautiful and usually so safe capital was changed in a split second,” Frederiksen said.

In a statement, the Royal House of Denmark said: “Our thoughts and deepest sympathy go out to the victims, their loved ones and everyone affected by the tragedy.”

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola also expressed her solidarity with the Danish people.

“Thinking of everyone in #Copenhagen tonight after the terrible reports of several people being killed in a shopping mall shooting. We are with you, Denmark,” she added. tweeted.

Journalist Susanne Gargiulo reported from Copenhagen.

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