Danish Police Kill Man Believed to Be Behind 2 Shootings in Copenhagen – ABC News
Danish police shot and killed a man early today who investigators believe was behind shootings at a free speech event and a synagogue in Copenhagen, killing two men and wounding five police officers.
The suspected gunman was killed in a shootout with police in the Noerrebro district of Copenhagen, Danish investigator Joergen Skov told The Associated Press.
According to Copenhagen police, at about 5 a.m., the suspect was returning to an address that was under police surveillance. When officers tried to make contact with the suspect, he shot at them. The officers returned fire, killing him.
Skov said “nothing at this point suggests there were other perpetrators” in the Saturday shootings. The shooting suspect has not been identified.
The first shooting happened about 4 p.m. at an event titled “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression,” organized by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has faced several threats after caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad. The 55-year-old victim was not identified.
“I’m not sure how many shots but I’d say about 20 or 30 shots,” Dennis Myhoff-Brink, who witnessed the attack, told BBC News. “People panicked of course and ran to the doors. Other people were hiding behind tables they had turned over.”
Vilks, 68, who was not injured in the shooting, said he believes he was the intended target.
“What other motive could there be? It’s possible it was inspired by Charlie Hebdo,” he told the AP.
The shooting happened a month after gunmen opened fire on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris, killing 12 people. The magazine had published cartoons showing the Prophet Muhammad, angering many Muslims.
In the days that followed, a police officer was killed and four others slain at a kosher grocery store inside the French capital.
Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt called the cafe shooting a “terrorist attack.”
“We feel certain now that it is a politically motivated attack, and thereby it is a terrorist attack,” she said.
Hours after the shooting at the cafe, police said Dan Uzan, a 37-year-old member of Copenhagen’s Jewish community, was killed and two police officers were wounded in a shooting outside a synagogue.
Uzan was standing near the entrance when he was shot, acting as a security guard for a Bar Mitzvah party that was taking place inside, according to Copenhagen’s main synagogue.
“It is a very sad morning where we all think of the victims and their relatives,” said Thornin-Schmidt. “Two innocent people have lost their lives because of a cynical terror action against Denmark.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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