The perpetrator of the shooting in a prayer house of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious community may also be among the dead, a spokesman for the German police said on the n-tv news television program on Friday morning.
According to his information, after the police arrived at the scene of the violence on Thursday evening, another shot was fired. A dead body was later found on an upper floor of the building, and there are indications that this person may have been the perpetrator. However, the authorities have not yet confirmed this.
The official said: there are no signs of a fugitive culprit, “the situation has calmed down at the moment”. He added that as things stand now, the security alert in the area may be lifted soon.
However, the spokesperson still did not disclose the number of dead or wounded. All that can be known is that several people lost their lives and were injured. The German newspaper Bild previously reported that seven people were killed and eight were injured in the shooting.
According to Andy Grote, Minister of the Interior of the state of Hamburg, a special unit of the police was also mobilized to the scene after several shots were fired that took the lives of several people at an event of Jehovah’s Witnesses on Thursday around nine o’clock in the evening. The building is also being inspected by firefighters, according to the police, it is only a routine inspection.
The police reported a large-scale operation in Hamburg’s Alsterdorf district. According to security sources, the local police are currently classifying what happened as a run amok, although the motive for the incident is still unknown.
The shooting in Hamburg is considered a running amok
The police consider the shooting that took place in a synagogue of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious community in Hamburg on Thursday night to be a rampage, and according to the first data of the investigation, the perpetrator of the carnage committed suicide, the German regional public service media company Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) reported.
Until Friday morning, the police officially announced only that there was a perpetrator of the crime, and that the members of the special unit alerted to the scene did not have to use their weapons.
The security warning issued for the area – Hamburg’s Groß Borstel, a normally quiet residential area – was withdrawn during the night.
During the day, Andy Grote, the member responsible for the public safety of the government of the provincial metropolis, will present the data collected on the circumstances of the incident – including the number of victims, the condition of the wounded and the identity of the suspected perpetrator.
According to the news portal Spiegel Online, the perpetrator is a former member of the religious community. The man, aged between 30 and 40, fired with a pistol, which it is not yet known whether he was legally in possession of. The man was not included in the register of extremists.
According to press reports, at least six people were killed in the shooting, including the perpetrator, and eight others were injured.
The house of prayer is a three-story former industrial building, in which the community held one of their two regular weekly meetings on Thursday evening, according to the information on its website. A young woman who lives in the area told n-tv news that she heard four shots, each time more, and these periods lasted roughly between twenty seconds and a minute.
A police spokesman said that when colleagues arrived at the scene, they heard a final shot and then found a body on an upper floor of the building and signs that this person may have been the perpetrator.
Several leading provincial and federal politicians expressed their condolences to the families of the dead and condemned the carnage. “Terrible news has arrived from Hamburg,” wrote Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the city’s former mayor, on Twitter, stressing that his thoughts are with the victims, their relatives, and the staff of the security agencies, who are going through a very difficult operation.
There are eight victims of the rampage in Hamburg
There are eight dead and eight injured in the rampage that took place at the Jehovah’s Witnesses house of worship in Hamburg on Thursday, the perpetrator of which was a former member of the religious community.
Among his victims, in addition to four men and two women, there is also a 28-week-old fetus. Four of the injured – six women and two men – are in danger.