The shots in a building belonging to Jehovah's Witnesses in Hamburg killed eight and injured eight. This was announced by Hamburg's Interior Senator Andy Grote (SPD) on Friday in Hamburg at a press conference. The police also count the perpetrator and an unborn child among the dead.
The shots were fired during an event in the community building on Thursday evening. Grote called this an amoktat.
Police were at the scene within minutes
The Hamburg police were at the scene of the crime within minutes. The crime happened around 9 p.m. on Thursday, Grote said. The first emergency calls were received at 21.04. "At 9:08 p.m., the first forces were on site." Only a minute later, at 9:09 p.m., the emergency patrol was at the scene of the crime.
This unit for operational situations that indicate an increased risk for the officers deployed gained access to the building at 9:11 p.m. and interrupted the crime. "We can assume that they saved the lives of many people," said Grote.
The alleged gunman according to dpa information from Bavaria. The man grew up in the Swabian administrative district and has been registered in Hamburg since 2015. According to the information, he applied for a gun license there last year. Several media had reported on the origin of the perpetrator.
Police classify the act as a killing spree
According to information from security circles, the police classified the act as a killing spree. The suspected shooter was therefore not known to be an extremist. According to reports, the fact that his name appeared in the databases of the security authorities has no criminal background, but to do with the fact that he is said to have applied for a gun permit. This always requires a reliability check, in which references to criminal offenses and extremism are checked.
The "Spiegel" reported that the suspect is said to be a former member of Jehovah's Witnesses aged 30 to 40. The magazine also reported that the murder weapon was a pistol and that the perpetrator is said to have left a large bag behind. The video of a local resident shows that a person dressed in black shoots through a broken window several times from the outside of the building and finally gets into the house and continues to shoot inside.
Numerous national and international politicians reacted with shock and concern to the deadly incident in Hamburg. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke of "terrible news from Hamburg" in a post on Twitter. He conveyed France's condolences to the families of the victims and to all our German friends. "Our thoughts are with them."
Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier reacted "with great horror". "My thoughts are with the dead and their families. You have my deepest sympathy on this day of pain," said the head of state through his spokeswoman on Twitter. Steinmeier thanked the emergency services on site and pointed to the sympathy of the population: "I'm sure many people in Germany feel sincere sympathy in these hours. I wish the injured a speedy recovery."
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) described the deadly shots as a brutal act of violence. "Bad news out
The Jehovah's Witnesses were "deeply concerned". "Our deepest sympathy goes to the families of the victims and the traumatized eyewitnesses. The chaplains of the local community are doing their best to support them in this difficult hour," said a statement on the community's website.
In the early morning, the police secured further tracks in front of, behind and in the three-storey building. During the night, the investigators put up numerous small number boards on the outside of the building to mark traces of the act of violence. A 3D scanner was also used in the morning to document the course of the crime. The entrance to the Jehovah's Witnesses building was covered with a privacy screen in the morning.
Background to the crime scene
The crime scene is a three-story commercial building located on a wide street and next to a painting company and a construction site with three large cranes. Around 15,000 people live in Hamburg-Alsterdorf, the district in the Hamburg-Nord district is around three square kilometers in size. In addition to Alsterdorf, there are twelve other districts in the district. Numerous companies are based in Hamburg-Alsterdorf. The Alster River runs through the district.
Information portal and contact point
The police point out a telephone for relatives and those affected. The telephone contact point can be reached at the numbers 49 40 4286-24393, -24386 and -24323.
These numbers should not be used for hints. The police have set up an information portal for this purpose, which can be reached on the website https://hh.zettelportal.de/. Photos and videos of the crime or relevant events in this context can be uploaded there.