In Germany, a shooting at a Jehovah’s Witness church

Web DeskApril 19, 2023

HAMBURG: On Thursday in a Jehovah’s Witness church in the German city of Hamburg, a gunman who is thought to have been acting alone killed many people, according to police, who are concentrating their inquiry on the attack’s motivation.

Authorities would not specify the number of fatalities but did state that the shooter was likely among the victims.

According to the Bild newspaper, the shooting at the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall in the northern city that is home to Germany’s largest harbour resulted in seven fatalities and eight injuries.

Police sent a statement on Twitter stating that they believe there is only one perpetrator given the circumstances at hand.

Police activities in the surrounding area are being successively discontinued. Investigations into the motives behind the crime are continuing.”

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Earlier, Germany’s DPA news agency, citing a reporter on the scene, said that residents in the city’s northern Alsterdorf district had received warnings on their mobile phones of a “life threatening situation” and that streets had been sealed off.

Television footage showed dozens of police cars as well as fire engines blocking off streets and some people, wrapped in blankets, being led by emergency service workers into a bus.

“We heard shots,” one unidentified witness told reporters. “There were 12 continuous shots,” he said. “Then we saw how people were taken away in black bags.”

Police said they had received a call soon after 9 pm and officers arrived at the scene to find several people seriously injured and some dead.

“Then they heard a shot from above, they went upstairs and found one further person,” said a police spokesperson.

On the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur in October 2019, a shooter opened fire outside a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle, killing two people.

The tragedy on Thursday shocked Hamburg’s mayor.

“I send the victims’ families my sincere condolences. The forces are moving swiftly to find the offenders and provide light on the circumstances, “On Twitter, Peter Tschentscher remarked.

Germany has been shaken by a number of shootings in the last few years. In February 2020, a gunman with suspected far-right links shot dead nine people, including migrants from Turkey, in the western town of Hanau before killing himself and his mother.

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