Several dead in a shooting at a Copenhagen shopping center

Police guard an ambulance that is preparing to evacuate an injured person. / Olafur Steinar Gestson/EFE

The Police announce the arrest of a 22-year-old Danish man and do not rule out that the attack could be of a terrorist nature

A shooting recorded on Sunday afternoon in a large shopping center in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, left an undetermined balance of dead and several injured, as confirmed by the chief inspector of the Police, Soren Thomassen, in the early hours of the night. the course of a press conference. The same source pointed out that a 22-year-old Danish man had been arrested in relation to the attack, without ruling out that there are more involved. “At the moment, we cannot give any more information about his identity,” Thomassen said. In an intervention in which he offered scant data, he also did not rule out that he was involved in a terrorist attack. “The investigation is ongoing and we cannot reject anything yet,” he noted.

The Field’s shopping center, located in the Amager neighborhood, between the center of the capital and the airport, was immediately taken over by a large deployment of security forces and assistance teams after about half past five in the afternoon. the first alarm, according to the Copenhagen Police on their Twitter account. “We have to be absolutely sure that we control the situation. It is a great operation », highlighted Thomassen during his public intervention.

The agents arrived when more than a hundred people ran out of the facilities after the first shots were heard, according to witnesses quoted by local media. The device asked people who were still in the building to remain inside until its troops arrived.

Some images broadcast on Danish television showed medical personnel carrying an injured person on a stretcher and mothers comforting their children in their arms. According to the national network DR, three people were hospitalized, but that balance does not include any injured who could be treated by health personnel in the shopping center itself.

Some witnesses stated that they had been able to hear between three and four shots. “I was with my three young children in the mall trying on clothes at H&M when I heard three or four shots. They were very loud sounds. They looked like shots made next to this store, on the first floor,” Laurits Hermansen said. He added that he was soon able to see people fleeing the scene, while other people entered the clothing store yelling “There are shots! There are shots!” Other testimonies from clients affirm that many tried to escape by going down in the elevator, which, however, stopped working, apparently deactivated by the Police.

“I only think about my life”

A married couple was also caught shopping when chaos suddenly erupted. “I could see people starting to run. We all try to hide in changing rooms on the recommendation of shop assistants. We were seven people in there », says the husband, who, like his wife, was deeply shocked. “I think I’m dying. I don’t think about whether it’s terrorism or gang related. I only think about my life, “added the woman.

The streets surrounding the shopping center were blocked by a wide security perimeter with heavily armed policemen and the circulation of the subway was suspended. A helicopter flew over the area.

In a nearby apartment building, Oscar, 21, and Jonas, 22, were sitting watching television when they heard the explosion. Later, they looked out the window and could see shards of glass flying from one floor above. As they stepped out onto the balcony, they made eye contact with a green combat-dress officer, who motioned for them to return to his apartment.

About 650 meters from the Fields shopping center is also the Royal Arena pavilion, where the British singer Harry Styles was scheduled to hold a concert for which all the tickets had been sold and which the organizers suspended. Styles himself wrote on the Snapchat social network to be “shocked” and stated that he and his entire team were praying for all those affected.

The last attack in Copenhagen occurred on February 14 and 15, 2015, when a series of Islamist shootings caused two deaths and five injuries.

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