Shooting in Copenhagen: the investigation is moving towards the psychiatric problems of the shooter

Copenhagen Shooting: Investigation Focuses On Psychiatric Problems Of shooter


The investigation into the killing at a Copenhagen shopping center on Monday focused on the mental state of the 22-year-old Danish suspect, who posted videos before the attack where he pretended to commit suicide with weapons. 

The alleged perpetrator of the late Sunday afternoon attack 'is known to have a psychiatric history,' chief inspector said of Copenhagen police, Søren Thomassen.

The attack, committed with a rifle, killed three people and injured 30, including four seriously, in a large shopping center, Fields, located between the city center of Copenhagen and the airport.

The identities of the three people killed – a 47-year-old man, a 17-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl – as well as the injured of different ages and genders suggest “these are randomly selected victims”, a explained the senior police officer.

“Nothing indicates in what we found that it was a terrorist act”, estimated the director of the investigation, according to which the shooter acted alone during the attack.

Police confirmed on Monday morning that they consider videos of the suspect circulating since Sunday evening on social networks to be authentic.

The 22-year-old young man – whose identity is known but not made public by the Danish media – appears there posing with weapons, mimicking gestures of suicide with a rifle and a pistol. He also mentions a treatment with a powerful drug prescribed in psychiatry “which does not work”.

The suspect's YouTube and Instagram accounts were deactivated overnight, but the videos are still circulating on other accounts. According to Danish media, they were posted on the suspect's accounts on Friday.

Police say it is too early to say the motive for the attack, but it seems prepared in advance.

Four seriously injured

During the attack, the assailant was carrying a rifle, a pistol and a knife, according to Danish police. The suspect did not have a license to possess these weapons.

The arrest was made without difficulty around 5:50 p.m. (3:50 p.m. GMT) outside the shopping center about a quarter of an hour after the first reports of gunshots, according to the police.

The suspect was heard and admitted to being at the scene during the shooting, according to the police, who carried out a series of searches during the night.

The four who were shot and injured are still “in serious condition “. They are two Danes aged 19 and 40 and two Swedes, a 50-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl.

Twenty-three people were also slightly injured in the panic caused by the shooting in the shopping center, police said on Monday.

The Danish Prime Minister blasted a “cruel” attack overnight , as Denmark emerged from three days of popular celebration on the occasion of the unprecedented passage of the Tour de France.

“Our beautiful capital, usually so safe, was changed in the space of a second” , Mette Frederiksen said in a statement.

The surroundings of the shopping center, still closed, were calm Monday morning, according to an AFP journalist on the spot. A team of investigators of about fifteen people entered the building around 08:30 (06:30 GMT).

The latter was very busy due to a concert, with 13,500 spectators, of the star British Harry Styles planned in a large venue nearby, the Royal Arena. The show was canceled at the last minute.

“I am heartbroken with the people of Copenhagen. I love this city. The people there are so warm and full of love,” the singer said on Twitter.

Maria Enevoldsen, a 40-year-old from Denmark who was on her way to the concert, had just left the mall when the shooting broke out .

“We were on our way to the Royal Arena and our friend called to see if we were okay. That's when we heard the shots on the phone,” she told AFP as she came to pick up her car, which had remained there.