- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
A suspected gunman said his anti-psychotic drugs weren’t working in social media posts before a shooting spree in a Danish shopping centre that left 3 dead and 27 injured.
Police said the shooter, named last night as Noah Esbensen, who was carrying a rifle and knife, was known to mental health services, and that he had acted alone as they ruled out terrorism on Monday. The 22-year-old was remanded into psychiatric care for at least 24 days after being charged with three murders and seven attempted murders at a brief closed-doors court hearing.
He failed to get through to a crisis helpline before Sunday’s 15 minute attack at the Field’s shopping mall in Copenhagen, Denmark’s public broadcaster reported.
A 17-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl, both Danes, and a 47-year-old Russian man, were killed during the rampage.
Two Danish women, aged 19 and 40, and two Swedes, a 50-year-old man and a 16-year-old woman were hospitalised with gunshot wounds and are in a critical but stable condition.
In all 30 people were hurt in Sunday’s attack, most in the panicked stampede after the shots rang out in the outskirts of the capital. The gunman was arrested after officers raced to the scene.
“Our suspect is also known among psychiatric services, beyond that I do not wish to comment," Copenhagen chief police inspector Soren Thomassen, who added that the victims were targeted at random, said.
The day before the rampage, the suspect published videos on social media, which police have said are authentic. In them he posed holding an illegally obtained handgun and rifle to his head.
He wrote "Quetiapine does not work" on music playlists titled "Killer Music” and “Last Thing To Listen To” which he uploaded to YouTube..
Quetiapine is used to treat mental health illnesses such as schizophrenia. YouTube and Instagram accounts believed to belong to the suspect are now closed.
Danish broadcaster TV2 published a grainy photo of the alleged gunman, a man wearing knee-length shorts, a vest or sleeveless shirt, and holding what appeared to be a rifle in his right hand.
Witnesses said the suspect had tried to trick people by saying his weapon was fake to get them to approach.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said there would be discussions over whether or not to tighten Denmark’s gun laws but that now was the time to remember the victims as she visited the mall on Monday.
Guns can be bought by adults in Denmark but there are requirements for training, background checks and licences. The suspect did not have a permit for his two guns.
“It was the worst possible nightmare," Ms Frederiksen said at the shopping mall, where flowers have been left in tribute.
The attack happened at the end of a week in which Denmark hosted the first three stages of the Tour de France cycle race.
“I think we have rarely experienced such a stark contrast,” Ms Fredericksen said, “In a split second, the party and the joy stopped.”
Many visitors were at the centre on Sunday before a nearby concert with British singer Harry Styles, which was cancelled.
Styles said on Twitter:
I’m heartbroken along with the people of Copenhagen. I adore this city. The people are so warm and full of love.
I’m devastated for the victims, their families, and everyone hurting.
I’m sorry we couldn’t be together. Please look after each other. H
— Harry Styles. (@Harry_Styles) July 3, 2022
The wounded 16-year-old Swedish girl, who is waiting for surgery, was at Field’s because she was going to the concert.
She had only been in the mall a few minutes before the gunman, who she saw for “a few seconds” opened fire. She was shot as she ran away, she told Swedish media.
Despite being hit, she managed to escape the mall and get help. She is now waiting for surgery to remove a bullet from her body.
The attack was the worst in Denmark since February 2015, when a suspected Islamic extremist was killed in a shootout with police after murdering two people and wounding five officers.