Suspect in Copenhagen mall shooting that killed three was known to psychiatric professionals

shooting denmark

A man arrested on suspicion of killing three people and wounding several others during a shooting at a shopping mall in Copenhagen was known to psychiatric professionals, Danish police said Monday.

The shooting unfolded on Sunday at multiple locations inside Field’s, a shopping center in the Danish capital.

Social media footage showed people running through the mall and heavily armed law enforcement officers on the scene.

At a press conference on Monday morning, Copenhagen’s Head of Police Soren Thomassen said two 17-year-old Danish citizens, one male and one female, and a 47-year-old Russian national had been killed in the gunfire.

Two other Danes and two Swedish nationals had received gunshot wounds and were in hospital in critical but stable conditions, while several others sustained minor injuries while leaving the mall, Thomassen said.
A 22-year-old Danish man was arrested in connection with the shooting and is currently the only suspect.

Thomassen said there is no indication the suspect was acting with others but an investigation was ongoing.

Earlier, the police had said they detained the suspect 13 minutes after receiving the first emergency call, and that he was “carrying a rifle and ammunition” at the time of his arrest.

At the news conference on Monday, Thomassen said there was no indication the attack was an “act of terror” nor motivated by gender, and police believe the victims were chosen at random. The suspect was “known to people in the psychiatric field,” he said.

The suspect will be charged with manslaughter, Thomassen added.

Mass shootings are rare in Denmark

Gun violence is relatively rare in Denmark. Copenhagen’s last major shooting incident was in 2015, when a gunman attacked a free speech forum featuring controversial cartoonist Lars Vilks, killing one man and wounding three others.

As investigators piece together the circumstances that lead to Sunday’s deadly shooting, questions are being asked as to how the suspected gunman could have obtained the weapon and ammunition used in the attack, as Denmark is considered to have some of the most restrictive gun laws in Europe.
Whereas in the United States gun ownership is conditionally guaranteed by the US Constitution, in Denmark, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law, according to GunPolicy.org, an organization that tracks international firearm policy.
Through restrictive licensing, Danish authorities attempt to reduce firearm violence by substantially reducing the number of firearms in circulation. An applicant for a firearm license in Denmark must pass a background check which considers criminal and mental health, GunPolicy.org said.
Only licensed gun owners may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition. Applicants for a gun owner’s license in Denmark are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example hunting, target shooting, collection, according to GunPolicy.org
Danish police on Monday confirmed the suspected shooter did not have a permit, according to Thomassen, the head of Copenhagen’s police force.
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