Witnesses described throwing themselves behind shop counters and cramming into cramped hiding places in fear for their lives after a gunman opened fire in a busy shopping center in Copenhagen.
Three people were killed and three others seriously injured in the attack on Field’s shopping center in the Danish capital on Sunday evening, the motive for which is not yet known.
Shoppers were pictured fleeing the mall, which is one of the largest of its kind in Scandinavia, while those remaining inside were told by police to stay put as large numbers of officers Armed forces were working to secure the area.
A 22-year-old Dane was arrested in connection with the attack and Inspector Soren Thomassen told a press conference that, although investigations are ongoing, the perpetrator would have acted alone.
danish tabloid BT released unverified video footage it says was shot by a witness to the attack, Mahdi Al-wazni, showing a man with a large gun walking through the mall and swinging it around his shoulders.
“He seemed very aggressive and was shouting different things,” Al-wazni said. BTlater telling broadcaster TV2 that the man appeared to be carrying a “shotgun”, adding: “He spoke to me and said [the rifle] is not real because I was filming it. He seemed very proud of what he was doing.
An eyewitness, Rikke Levandovski, told the same broadcaster that ‘people thought he was a thief at first’, adding: ‘Then I suddenly heard gunshots and threw myself behind the counter inside the store”.
She said the assailant “was just shooting into the crowd, not into the ceiling or the floor”.
A woman named Emilie Jeppesen told the Jyllands-Posten newspaper: “You didn’t know what was going on. Suddenly there was chaos everywhere.
Others described fleeing the sound of gunfire and desperately seeking safety.
“My friend and I… suddenly we hear gunshots. I hear about ten shots then I run as fast as possible in the toilets. We sneak into these tiny toilets where we are about 11 people,” a woman who went by the name Isabella told DR, the Danish public broadcaster.
Joachim Olsen, a former Danish politician who was going to a gym inside the mall when he saw large groups of people fleeing the mall, told CNN: “It looked like something, I I’m sorry to say, you would see from one of the school shootings in the United States, people coming out with their hands above their heads.
“You have people going out, looking for friends and calling friends and family who were inside, some talking to friends who were inside,” Mr. Olsen said. “Older people with their arms around the necks of the people wearing them, their feet just being dragged on the floor.”
He added: “At one point we were rushed. The police came and said ‘run, run, run, they’re still shooting in there’.”
Laurits Hermansen was in a clothing store in the mall with his family when he heard “three-four detonations”, he told Danish television channel DR. “A really loud bang. It looked like the shots were fired right next to the store,” he said.
Police did not say the exact number of people killed and injured in the attack.
A spokesman for the capital’s main hospital, Rigshospitalet, told Reuters it had received a “small group of patients” for treatment, adding that additional staff, including surgeons and nurses, had been called in to to help.
“It’s pure terror. It’s awful,” said Hans Christian Stoltz, a 53-year-old computer consultant, who brought his daughters to see Harry Styles perform at a concert less than a mile from the mall, a show that has already been canceled with thousands of fans. inside the room.
“You might wonder how one person can do this to another human being, but it’s beyond anything possible,” Stoltz said of the shooting.
Styles said he was “heartbroken with the people of Copenhagen”.
“I am devastated for the victims, their families and all who are suffering,” he tweeted.
Additional reports by agencies