Sunday, December 10, 2023

German police seek motive in shooting at Jehovah’s Witnesses church By Reuters


© Reuters. A view of a police automobile on the scene following a lethal capturing, in Hamburg, Germany, March 10, 2023. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch


By Fabian Bimmer

HAMBURG (Reuters) -German police have been looking for a motive on Friday after a gunman, believed to have been appearing alone, killed a number of folks in a Jehovah’s Witnesses church in Hamburg.

Police declined to say how many individuals had been killed in Thursday night time’s assault however mentioned the gunman was believed to be among the many useless.

The Bild newspaper reported seven folks have been useless and eight wounded within the capturing within the northern metropolis that’s house to Germany’s largest port.

A number of of the wounded have been severely harm, the Jehovah’s Witnesses mentioned.

No particulars of the suspected killer have been launched. Hamburg police have been as a result of temporary the media at midday (1100 GMT).

“Unhealthy information from Hamburg,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrote on Twitter early on Friday, calling the assault “a brutal act of violence”.

He mentioned his ideas have been with the victims, their households and the safety forces, who he mentioned “have been by way of a troublesome deployment” for the reason that capturing at round 9 p.m. (2000 GMT).

Inside Minister Nancy Faeser mentioned on Twitter that the authorities have been working urgently to analyze the crime.

“We assume that there’s one perpetrator,” police mentioned late on Thursday. “Investigations into the motives behind the crime are persevering with.”

Germany has a number of the most stringent guidelines round gun management in Europe and the inside minister mentioned late final yr the federal government deliberate to tighten gun legal guidelines after a suspected plot by a far-right group to violently overthrow the state.


The Jehovah’s Witnesses mentioned in an announcement on their web site that the spiritual neighborhood was “deeply affected by the horrific assault on its members of the religion in a Kingdom Corridor in Hamburg after a service”.

The group expressed sympathy for the victims, households “and the traumatized eyewitnesses”. Ministers have been “doing their finest to help them on this troublesome hour. We pray for all these affected and need them the ability of the God of all consolation”.

Police established an web portal for folks to add images and movies “of the crime or related occasions”.

Quickly after the violence started, residents within the Alsterdorf district obtained warnings on their cellphones of a “life threatening scenario” and the world was sealed off, the DPA information company reported.

Tv footage confirmed dozens of police vehicles in addition to fireplace engines blockading streets and a few folks, wrapped in blankets, being led by emergency service employees right into a bus.

“We heard photographs,” one unidentified witness advised reporters.

“There have been 12 steady photographs,” he mentioned. “Then we noticed how folks have been taken away in black luggage.”

Police arrived on the scene to search out a number of folks severely wounded and a few useless.

“Then they heard a shot from above, they went upstairs and located one additional particular person,” mentioned a police spokesperson.

Germany has been shaken by plenty of shootings in the previous few years. In February 2020, a gunman with suspected far-right hyperlinks shot useless 9 folks, together with migrants from Turkey, within the western city of Hanau earlier than killing himself and his mom.

In October 2019, a gunman killed two folks when he opened fireplace outdoors a synagogue within the jap metropolis of Halle on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.

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