At least three people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a shopping center in Copenhagen on Sunday, police said. Several others were injured, including three in critical condition, Police Inspector Søren Thomassen said.
The suspect in custody is a 22-year-old Dane who was arrested near the Fields shopping center, said Thomassen, head of the Copenhagen Police Task Force.
Thomassen said the three victims were a man in his 40s and “two young people”.
Earlier Sunday, Thomassen said it was too early to speculate on a motive but said terror could not be ruled out immediately. He noted that police “have no information that others are involved. We know that now.”
Police said later Sunday that the suspect was in possession of a gun and ammunition when he was arrested. He is charged with manslaughter and is due to appear before a judge on Monday.
He said police received the first reports of a shooting at 5:37 p.m. local time and arrested the suspect 11 minutes later. Thomassen described the suspect as “ethnic Dane,” a term typically used to mean someone is white.
Danish broadcaster TV2 released a grainy photo of the suspected shooter, a man wearing knee-length shorts, a vest or sleeveless shirt and holding what appears to be a gun in his right hand. “He seemed very violent and angry,” eyewitness Mahdi Al-Wazni told TV2. “He spoke to me and said it (the gun) isn’t real when I was filming him. He seemed very proud of what he was doing.”
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the Scandinavian country had been hit by a “cruel attack”.
“It is incomprehensible. heartbreaking. Pointless,” she said. “Our beautiful and otherwise so safe capital was changed in a fraction of a second.”
Pictures from the scene showed people running from the mall and Danish broadcaster TV2 published a photo of a man being placed on a stretcher. Witnesses said people cried and hid in shops.
Laurits Hermansen told Danish broadcaster DR that he was with his family in a clothing store in the mall when he “heard three or four bangs. Really loud popping noises. It sounded like the shots were fired right next to the store.”
The shopping center is located on the outskirts of Copenhagen, directly opposite a metro station on a line that connects the city center with the international airport. A main thoroughfare also runs next to the mall.
A concert by former One Direction band member Harry Styles that was due to take place at the nearby Royal Arena on Sunday night has been cancelled.
“I am heartbroken along with the people of Copenhagen. I adore this city. People are so warm and full of love. I am heartbroken for the victims, their families and anyone who is being hurt,” Styles said tweeted. “I’m sorry we couldn’t be together. Please take care of each other. H.”
The royal palace said a reception with Crown Prince Frederik in connection with the Tour de France cycling race had been cancelled. The first three stages of the race took place in Denmark this year. The reception was to take place on the royal yacht, which is moored in Soenderborg, the town where stage three ended.
In a joint statement, Queen Margrethe, her son Crown Prince Frederik and his wife, Crown Princess Mary, said: “We do not yet know the full extent of the tragedy, but it is already clear that more people have lost their lives and that even more have been injured. “
“The situation calls for unity and care,” they said in a statement.