- Eight individuals had been killed in a Jehovah’s Witnesses centre in Germany police stated.
- The gunman was a member of the group, reported Der Spiegel.
- Chancellor Olaf Scholz condemned the violence.
A taking pictures at a Jehovah’s Witnesses centre within the German metropolis of Hamburg has left eight individuals useless, together with the suspected gunman, police stated Friday, because the motive for the assault remained unclear.
Information weekly Der Spiegel reported that the suspected attacker was a former member of the Jehovah’s Witness neighborhood who was not a identified extremist.
The journal, which didn’t cite its sources, described him as a person aged 30 to 40 and stated he had been armed with a handgun.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz condemned the “brutal act of violence” and stated his ideas had been with the victims and their family members.
READ | German mass shooting kills ‘several’ in Jehovah’s Witness building, no motive known, say police
A number of extra individuals had been injured within the assault on Thursday night on the Kingdom Corridor constructing within the port metropolis of Hamburg, the place Jehovah’s Witnesses members had been attending a non secular service.
“Eight individuals had been fatally injured, apparently together with the suspected perpetrator,” Hamburg police stated in a press release, including that a number of different individuals had been harm, “some significantly”.
Armed police patrol exterior a Jehovah’s Witnesses church the place eight individuals have been killed in a taking pictures in Hamburg, Germany. The gunman is believed to be amongst a number of useless discovered within the constructing, police stated.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany affiliation stated it was “deeply saddened by the horrific assault on its members”.
The primary emergency calls had been made round 20:15 GMT after pictures rang out on the constructing within the metropolis’s northern district of Gross Borstel.
Hamburg police are as a consequence of give an replace at a press convention round 12:00, however earlier stated they had been nonetheless working to seek out out the motive for the assault.
“In the mean time there is no such thing as a dependable info on the motive of the crime,” police stated, urging individuals to not speculate.
An alarm for “excessive hazard” within the space was sounded utilizing a disaster warning app, however Germany’s Federal Workplace for Civil Safety lifted it shortly after 03:00 native time.
The port metropolis’s mayor, Peter Tschentscher, expressed shock on the taking pictures on Twitter.
Police have requested witnesses to come back ahead and add any photos or movies they could should a particular web site.
Inside Minister Nancy Faeser stated investigators had been “working flat-out to find out the background” to the assault.
The assault befell on the Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Corridor constructing, a non-descript, three-storey constructing the place members had gathered for a non secular service.
There are about 175 000 individuals in Germany, together with 3 800 in Hamburg, who’re Jehovah’s Witnesses, a US Christian motion arrange within the late nineteenth century that preaches non-violence and is understood for door-to-door evangelism.
The primary officers on the scene discovered a number of lifeless our bodies and significantly wounded individuals, police stated.
Police stand exterior a Jehovah’s Witnesses church the place a number of individuals have been killed in a taking pictures in Hamburg, Germany. The gunman is believed to be amongst a number of useless discovered within the constructing, police have stated.
Hamburger Abendblatt reported that 17 unharmed individuals, who had been on the occasion, had been being attended to by the fireplace brigade.
Officers heard a shot within the “higher a part of the constructing” earlier than discovering a physique within the space the place it rang out, police stated.
In a tweet early on Friday, Hamburg police stated they assumed the physique belonged to the perpetrator.
Germany has been rocked by a number of assaults in recent times, each by jihadists and far-right extremists.
Among the many deadliest dedicated by Islamist extremists was a truck rampage at a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016 that killed 12 individuals.
The Tunisian attacker, a failed asylum seeker, was a supporter of the Islamic State jihadist group.
Europe’s most populous nation stays a goal for jihadist teams particularly due to its participation within the anti-Islamic State coalition in Iraq and Syria.
Between 2013 and 2021, the variety of Islamists thought of harmful within the nation had multiplied by 5 to 615, based on inside ministry information.
However Germany has additionally been hit by a number of far-right assaults in recent times, sparking accusations that the federal government was not doing sufficient to stamp out neo-Nazi violence.
In February 2020, a far-right extremist shot useless 10 individuals and wounded 5 others within the central German metropolis of Hanau.
And in 2019, two individuals had been killed after a neo-Nazi tried to storm a synagogue in Halle on the Jewish vacation of Yom Kippur.