Several people shot dead in Copenhagen shopping mall, police say

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A gunman opened fire at a Copenhagen shopping mall, one of the largest of its kind in Scandinavia, killing several people and injuring several others on Sunday, police said.

The suspected shooter, who is in custody, is a 22-year-old Dane who was arrested near Fields shopping center in the southern suburbs of the capital, said police inspector Søren Thomassen, head of the unit copenhagen police operations.

“We know there are several dead” and “several injuries,” Thomassen told a news conference, adding that terror cannot be ruled out. “We have no information indicating that others are involved. This is what we know now.

He did not give further details about the victims. The mall is on the outskirts of Copenhagen, just across a metro line that connects the city center to the international airport. A major freeway also passes by Fields, which opened in 2004.

Footage from the scene showed people running out of the mall and Danish broadcaster TV2 posted a photo of a man being put on a stretcher. Witnesses said people were crying and hiding in stores.

Laurits Hermansen told Danish broadcaster DR he was in a clothing store in the mall with his family when he heard “three-four bangs. Really strong bangs. It looked like the shots were fired right next to the store.

Copenhagen Mayor Sophie H. Andersen tweeted: “Terrible reports of shootings in Fields. We don’t yet know for sure how many injured or dead, but it’s very serious.

Police said they were first alerted to the shooting at 5:36 p.m. (3:36 p.m. GMT; 11:36 a.m. EDT). A huge presence of heavily armed police was on hand, with several fire engines also parked outside the mall.

“One person has been arrested in connection with the Fields shooting. We are unable to say more about the individual at this time,” Copenhagen Police tweeted. “We have a massive presence in Fields and are working to get the full picture.”

A concert by former One Direction band member Harry Styles was due to take place at 8 p.m. (6 p.m. GMT; 2 p.m. EDT) at the nearby Royal Arena. It was unclear whether the concert would take place.

On Snapchat, Styles wrote, “My team and I are praying for everyone involved in the Copenhagen mall shooting. I’m shocked. I love H.”

Shortly after the shooting, the royal palace said a reception with Crown Prince Frederik linked to the Tour de France cycling race had been cancelled. The first three stages of the race were held in Denmark this year, the palace said in a statement. The reception was to take place on the royal yacht moored in Soenderborg, the town where the third leg ended.

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Karl Ritter reported from Unterseen, Switzerland.

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Edwin S. Wolfe