LAST UPDATE: 23.15
Multiple people were killed and injured this afternoon at one of Denmark’s largest shopping malls, according to police, who have arrested a 22-year-old Dane as a suspect.
The young man, who according to eyewitnesses was armed with an automatic rifle, was arrested shortly after the first police officers arrived at the Field’s shopping mall, located between the center of Copenhagen and the city’s airport.
“There are many injured and we now know there are many dead,” Copenhagen police inspector general Søren Thomasen told a news conference.
The suspect’s motive remains unclear, but authorities “cannot rule out a terrorist act,” he added. There are currently no indications that the 22-year-old had accomplices.
The man guilty of shooting multiple people in Copenhagen shopping mall 👍 pic.twitter.com/M6dopJCCbD
— 🇲🇪 (@WarReadyyy) July 3, 2022
The timeline of the attack
The shooting began around 5:30 p.m. local time, causing panic among bystanders. Many visitors to Field’s had gone there in anticipation of the concert that British star Harry Styles was to perform at a neighboring concert venue. The show was eventually cancelled.
Eyewitnesses who spoke to Danish media said the suspect was trying to “trap” the victims, for example by telling them the gun was fake so they wouldn’t hesitate to approach him. “He was psychotic enough to chase people, but he wasn’t running,” said a witness who spoke to public broadcaster DR.
When the first shots rang out, about a hundred people ran out of Field’s. Others chose to hide inside.
“Suddenly, we heard gunshots, I heard ten and we ran as fast as we could to hide in the toilets,” said a young woman, Isabella, who hid for two hours.
Heavy police forces arrived in the area and blocked all roads around the mall. Metro services were suspended and a helicopter was flying overhead.
“My daughters were going to (the) Harry Styles concert. They called me and said someone was shooting. They were in a restaurant when it happened,” said Hans Christian Stolz, a 53-year-old Swede who went to Field’s looking for his children.
“At first we thought some people were running because they saw Harry Styles, then we realized they were panicking (…) We ran for our lives,” said his daughter Cassandra.
“My team and I are praying for all those affected by the Copenhagen mall shooting. I am shocked,” the British star wrote on Snapchat.
Emily Yepesen and Astrid Kofed Jorgesen, both 20, were inside Field’s when the shots rang out. “You didn’t understand what was going on. All of a sudden there was chaos. We were sitting down to eat and suddenly we saw people running. At first we thought, why are they running? And then we heard the shots,” said Yepesen.
“All of us in the restaurant huddled in the kitchen and then we heard three or four shots,” her friend said.
Breaking: Police confirm that multiple people were shot at Field’s Mall in Copenhagen, Denmark. Harry Styles is expected to perform in a nearby arena later tonight. pic.twitter.com/F7pcaoB7Hp
— PM Breaking News (@PMBreakingNews) July 3, 2022
BREAKING 🇩🇰 : Watch – The moment gunmen fired multiple people at ‘Fields’ shopping mall in #CopenhagenDenmark.
— Zaid Ahmed (@realzaidzayn) July 3, 2022
— Presse-fotos.dk (@pressefotosdk) July 3, 2022
Mayor of Copenhagen: “Very serious incident”
Copenhagen Mayor Sophie H. Andersen described the shooting incident at the Field’s shopping center as “very serious”. “We don’t yet know exactly how many were injured or killed, but it is very serious,” she said in a post on Twitter.
The mayor said a crisis response center had been set up.
Field’s has been operating since 2004 and is the second largest shopping center in Denmark.