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Sunday 3 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix via PA Copenhagen Police Chief Inspector Soeren Thomassen gives a status on the investigation of Sunday's shooting in a shopping mall, at the Police Station in Copenhagen, Denmark Monday, July 4, 2022.

Copenhagen shooting suspect remanded in custody for 24 days

The 22-year-old gunman was indicted for murder today.

 THE CHIEF SUSPECT in the Copenhagen mall shooting has been remanded into a psychiatric care facility, according to Danish police.

The suspected perpetrator of the attack, which took place late on Sunday afternoon and resulted in three fatalities, will be kept in custody for at least 24 days, which can then be extended.

The 22-year-old man was brought before a judge at the Copenhagen district court today, where he was indicted for murder before the hearing continued behind closed doors.

According to Danish public broadcaster DR, which cited several unnamed sources, the suspected gunman had tried to reach a psychological help line shortly before the attack.

Danish authorities would not confirm this.

However, Copenhagen police chief Soren Thomassen told a morning press conference that the “suspect is also known among psychiatric services”.

The attack occurred on the heels of the city playing host to the start of the Tour de France cycling competition and seeing the return of the Roskilde music festival after being cancelled due to Covid-19 curbs.

‘Violent contrast’

“I think we have rarely experienced such a violent contrast as yesterday,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said as she arrived to pay tribute to the victims at the scene.

“But today I think we must pay tribute to the victims, show our sympathy, and support all those who have been affected,” she told reporters.

Copenhagen’s mayor Sophie H. Andersen has also announced that a memorial service is being prepared.

The three deceased have been identified as two Danish teens, a girl and boy both aged 17, and a 47-year-old Russian living in Denmark.

Speaking at an afternoon press conference, Copenhagen police inspector Dannie Rise said that in total 10 people had been injured by gunfire, including the three dead, with another four being seriously injured.

About 20 more sustained light injuries in the panicked evacuation after the shooting.

Rise also said police had received a large amount of witness accounts and videos from the public, and were in the process of “putting the puzzle together” to establish a motive.

Given the victims’ varied ages and genders, Thomassen said they appeared to have been randomly targeted and there was nothing to indicate it was an act of terror.

The police chief said there seemed to have been preparation ahead of the attack and that he was not aided by anyone else.

Thomassen added that police believe videos of the suspect, which have circulated since late Sunday on social media, to be authentic.

In some of the images, the young man can be seen posing with weapons and talking about psychiatric medication “that does not work”.

Three videos believed to have been posted to YouTube by the suspect were all titled “I don’t care”.

YouTube and Instagram accounts believed to belong to him were closed overnight, AFP noted.

According to police, the shooter was armed with a rifle, a pistol and a knife, and while the guns were not believed to be illegal, the suspect did not have a licence for them.

‘Are you OK?’

Eyewitnesses told Danish media they had seen more than 100 people rush towards the exit of Field’s shopping mall, located between the city centre and Copenhagen airport, as the first shots were fired.

The mall was busy in light of British singer Harry Styles’ scheduled concert at the nearby Royal Arena. The event had sold 13,500 tickets but was cancelled at the last minute.

“We got dressed for the concert, we were on our way,” Maria Enevoldsen, who had returned to the mall Monday to pick up her car, told AFP.

“Our friend (in the mall) called, asking ‘are you OK?’ and then we heard gunshots over the phone,” she said.

The shooting came just over a week after a gunman opened fire near a gay bar in Oslo in neighbouring Norway, killing two people and wounding 21 others.

Norwegian police have said they see no link between the events.

In February 2015, two people were killed and five injured in Copenhagen in a series of Islamist-motivated shootings.

© AFP 2022

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