Several dead after gunman opens fire at Danish shopping centre: 'Pure terror'

·News Reporter
·4-min read

Three people were killed and several others injured after a gunman opened fire in a shopping centre in Copenhagen, Denmark on Sunday afternoon (local time).

The suspected gunman, a 22-year-old Danish man, is in police custody however it's too early to establish a motive, they said.

Chilling images from the scene show people, including parents with their children, running from the building to safety.

Gunman in Denmark with rifle before being detained by police
Videos and photos shared on Twitter show the gunman storming the shopping centre with a gun, before being taken into police custody. Source: Twitter

Videos shared on Twitter taken from inside the shopping centre also detail the horror that unfolded as several gunshots can be heard alongside fearful screams from people running to safety.

The gunman can also be seen carrying what looks like a rifle.

Following the incident, it wasn't clear how many people had died, but three have since been confirmed dead and several others injured.

"We know that there are several dead," said police inspector Søren Thomassen, head of the Copenhagen police operations unit.

He also said an act of terror can't be ruled out and it's not yet known if the suspected gunman was working alone or with others.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen spoke of the "cruel attack" late on Sunday (local time).

"Denmark was hit by a cruel attack on Sunday night. Several were killed. Even more wounded. Innocent families shopping or eating out. Children, adolescents and adults," she said.

"Our beautiful and usually so safe capital was changed in a split second," she said. "I want to encourage the Danes to stand together and support each other in this difficult time."

Shoppers recall 'pure terror' after hearing gunshots: 'Chaos everywhere'

Witnesses said people were crying and hiding in shops, according to Associated Press.

One witness Laurits Hermansen told Danish broadcaster DR that he was in a clothing store at the shopping centre with his family when he heard "three-four bangs. Really loud bangs."

"It sounded like the shots were being fired just next to the store," he said.

"We could see that many people suddenly ran towards the exit and then we heard a bang. Then we ran out of Field’s too," Thea Schmidt, who was in the shopping centre at time of the attack, told broadcaster TV2, according to news.com.au.

People embrace outside Fields shopping center after Danish police said they received reports of a shooting at the site, in Copenhagen, Denmark
People ran to safety as they escaped the building. Source: Reuters

A concert by former One Direction band member Harry Styles was expected to go ahead at the nearby Royal Arena on Sunday evening, but it was swiftly cancelled following the attack.

Hans Christian Stoltz, a 53-year-old IT consultant, and his two daughters were expected to attend and were inside the shopping centre at the time of the attack, according to US news outlet ABC News.

"It is pure terror. This is awful," he said, according to the outlet.

"You might wonder how a person can do this to another human being, but it’s beyond … beyond anything that’s possible.”

Emilie Jeppesen, 20, told Denmark’s Jyllands Posten said she was sitting down eating when she saw people running.

"You didn’t know what was happening. Suddenly there was just chaos everywhere," she said.

"Then we first thought ‘why do people run?’ But then we could hear shots."

Gunman in police custody

Police said they were first alerted to the incident at Field's mall in the Danish capital at 5.36pm (local time). A huge presence of heavily-armed police officers was on hand, with several fire department vehicles also parked outside the mall.

"One person has been arrested in connection with the shooting at Fields. We currently are not able to say more about the person concerned," Copenhagen police tweeted. "We have a massive presence at Fields and are working on getting an overview."

In February of 2015, two people were killed and five injured in Copenhagen in a series Islamist-motivated shootings.

People leave Field's shopping centre, after Danish police said they received reports of shooting, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Source: Reuters
People leave Field's shopping centre after Danish police said they received reports of a shooting in Copenhagen, Denmark. Source: Reuters

With AP

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