The young man, who according to some witnesses was carrying an impressive weapon, was arrested shortly after the arrival of the police at the Fields shopping center, located between the city center and the airport.
“There are several injured and now we know that there are several dead,” said the chief inspector of the Copenhagen police, Søren Thomassen, during a press conference, in which he did not clarify the exact number of fatalities.
The motives for the attack are still unknown. Police describe the suspect as a “22-year-old” Danish man. The chief inspector of the armed body stated that “an act of terrorism” could not be excluded.
According to him, nothing indicates at the moment that other people have participated in the massacre.
A large police device was deployed around the compound and in other parts of the Danish capital.
The shooting occurred at 5:30 p.m. local time (3:30 p.m. GMT) and caused a panic movement. Many people had flocked to the scene before a concert by British singer Harry Styles kicked off at a nearby concert hall. The event was canceled after the shooting.
According to witnesses interviewed by the Danish media, the suspect tried to mislead the victims, for example by saying that his gun was a fake to get them to come closer.
“He was psychopathic enough to chase people, but he didn’t run,” said a witness interviewed by DR public television.
More than a hundred people ran out of the shopping center when the first shots were heard, according to photographs released after the incident.
Others had to stay in the mall. The police actually asked the people who were still in the building to stay inside. “All of a sudden we heard shots, I heard ten shots, and we ran as fast as we could to the bathroom,” she told DR Isabella, who did not provide her last name. She hid there for two hours.
The mayor of the city, Sophie Haestorp Andersen, reported the installation of a crisis cell.
The streets surrounding the shopping center were blocked by a wide security perimeter and the circulation of the subway was suspended, an AFP journalist at the scene confirmed. A helicopter was flying over the area.
Heavily armed police prevent residents from returning to their homes.
“My daughters were planning to go (to the concert of) Harry Styles. They called me to say that someone was shooting. They were in a restaurant when it happened,” said Hans Christian Stolz, a 53-year-old Swede who picked up his daughters at the scene.
The last attack in Copenhagen occurred on February 14 and 15, 2015 when a series of shootings at the hands of Islamists caused two deaths and five injuries.