Gunman in Denmark Kills 3 After Picking Out Victims at ‘Random’

A 22-year-old suspect is in custody after the shooting at one of Copenhagen’s busiest malls. Police say he acted alone and there is so far no indication of a terror motive.
denmark mall shooting
PHOTO: OLAFUR STEINAR GESTSSON/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

A gunman shot three people dead and seriously wounded four others in a shopping mall in Copenhagen on Sunday in what Danish police say was unlikely to have been a terrorist attack. 

Horrifying scenes erupted at Field’s shopping centre in the Danish capital as the gunman, a 22-year-old Dane with psychiatric issues, went on a 13-minute rampage inside the mall at about 5.35 PM, apparently picking out his victims at random. 

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Footage circulated on social media showed the gunman, wearing shorts and boots, pacing through the shopping centre holding a rifle, while terrified people hid in shops or ran for their lives. He was later detained by police.

Copenhagen police chief Soren Thomassen told a news conference on Monday that there was no evidence suggested that the attack was an act of terror.

“There is nothing in our investigation, or the documents we have reviewed or the things we have found or the witnesses’ statements we have gotten, that can substantiate that this is an act of terrorism,” he said.

Those killed in the attack were a boy and a girl, both 17-year-old Danes, and a 47-year-old Russian male who lived in Denmark. Those shot and injured were two Danish women, aged 40 and 19, and two Swedish citizens, a 50-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl. All four were treated for gunshot wounds and were in a critical but stable condition, police said.

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PHOTO: OLAFUR STEINAR GESTSSON/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

“Our assessment is that the victims were random, that it isn’t motivated by gender or something else,” Thomassen said.

“Our suspect is also known among psychiatric services, beyond that I do not wish to comment.”

Police have not publicly named the suspect, who is due to be arraigned on Monday on preliminary charges of murder. Thomassen said that the suspect appeared to have acted alone, and did not have a licence for his firearms.

Police also said that videos circulating online that the suspect allegedly posted the day before the attack were believed to be genuine. This included footage where the suspect posed with his weapons at his head, a playlist called “killer music,” and a comment that a particular anti-psychotic medication “does not work.”

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen denounced the “cruel attack” in a statement on Sunday night. 

“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.”