Copenhagen Shootings: Suspect Dead, Jewish Community Afraid To Leave Homes

A gunman, who authorities believe has been killed in a shootout with police near a train station, opened fire in Copenhagen at a cafe hosting a Charlie Hebdo-related event on Saturday. Hours later, authorities reported yet another shooting had taken place in Denmark’s capital at a downtown synagogue.

The second Copenhagen shooting, which took place at a downtown synagogue, left one civilian dead and two police officers wounded. The officers were reportedly shot in the arms and legs. Danish police indicated that the dead civilian in the incident had been shot multiple times in the head.

After the first two attacks, Copenhagen police indicated that they had killed a man near a train station who had shot at them.

While earlier reports indicated that authorities were still trying to determine whether the two shootings were connected to one another and whether the man killed in a shootout at a nearby train station was connected to the earlier two incidents, Fox News reports that police killed the assumed perpetrator near a train station. Initial reports indicated that police were searching for not one, but two gunmen.

A local rabbi, Yitzchok Loewenthal, in Denmark’s most populated city said on Sunday that members of the Jewish community fear leaving their homes following reports on multiple shootings in the Danish capital. Rabbi Loewenthal is a representative of the Chabad movement within the city.

The alleged gunman opened fire at the free speech event, which was organized by a controversial cartoonist who published caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, killing one. Hours later, the gunman killed another person at a local synagogue. The second shooting left two police officers wounded, however, reports indicated that they suffering from non-life threatening conditions.

Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist who has reportedly faced numerous death threats for caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad, was one of the speakers at the free speech event, titled “Art, blasphemy and freedom of expression.” Once the shooting began, he was quickly whisked away, unharmed, by his bodyguards. The 68-year-old artist told the AP that he thinks he was the intended target of the gunman as he questioned “what other motive” could exist.

“What other motive could there be? It’s possible it was inspired by Charlie Hebdo… At first there was panic. People crawled down under tables…. My bodyguards quickly pulled me away.”

A blurry photo of the suspect was released by local authorities several hours after the first shooting. Authorities accompanied the photo with a description of the suspect which indicated that he was 25- to 30-years-old, six feet tall, and athletic “with an Arabic appearance.” He wore dark clothing and covered his face with a red “guerrilla scarf.”

The Inquisitr reported earlier that an audio recording had captured the moment the gunman attacked the cafe.

What are your thoughts on the Copenhagen shootings?