The young man, armed according to witnesses with an imposing rifle, was arrested shortly after the arrival of the police near the large Fields shopping mall, located between the city center and the airport of the Danish capital.
“There are several injuries, and we now know that there are several deaths,” Copenhagen Police Chief Inspector Søren Thomassen told a news conference.
The motives of the suspect, described as “a 22-year-old ethnic Dane”, remain unclear but “we cannot rule out an act of terrorism”, he said. According to him, there is no indication at this stage that other people participated in the killing.
Two days after the Tour de France passed through the Danish capital, with great scenes of jubilation, a large police force was deployed at the scene of the shooting and in several places in Copenhagen.
The killing occurred around 5:30 p.m. local time (3:30 p.m. GMT), causing panic. Many visitors were there before a concert by British star Harry Styles in a nearby large hall, which was canceled in the evening.
According to witnesses interviewed by Danish media, the suspect tried to entrap victims, saying for example that his weapon was fake to entice them to get closer.
“He was psychopathic enough to go stalking people, but he didn’t run,” said a witness interviewed by public television DR.
When the first shots were heard, more than a hundred people rushed outside the mall, according to footage of the incident.
Others were forced to hide inside.
“All of a sudden we heard gunshots, I heard ten shots, and we ran all we could to take refuge in the toilets”, explained to DR Isabella, who remained hidden there for two hours.
“Run for Our Life”
A crisis cell has been triggered, according to the mayor of Copenhagen Sophie Haestorp Andersen.
The roads around the shopping center were blocked with a large security perimeter, metro traffic cut off and a helicopter hovered over the area, according to an AFP journalist on the spot.
Heavily armed police prevent residents from returning to their homes.
“My daughters were supposed to go to Harry Styles. They called me to say someone was shooting. They were in a restaurant when it happened,” Hans Christian Stolz, a 53-year-old Swede, told AFP. came to pick up his children there.
“We thought at first that it was people who were running because they had seen Harry Styles, then we understood that it was people in panic (…) We ran for our lives”, adds his daughter , Cassandra.
“My team and I are praying for everyone affected by the shooting in the Copenhagen mall. I’m shocked,” the British star said on Snapchat.
Police gave no indication of the motives for the shooting.
The last attack in Copenhagen dates back to February 14 and 15, 2015, when a series of Islamist-motivated shootings left two dead and five injured.