Hamburg: At least eight dead after shots in Hamburg – police assume amoktat

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Nfter the deadly shots were fired during an event organized by Jehovah’s Witnesses in Hamburg, investigations into the bloody deed will continue on Friday. In the morning, the police reported that eight people were killed in the shooting, apparently including the shooter. Further details are not known at this time. The police are continuing their investigation at the crime scene. “At the moment the handovers are going on here. It’s all in flux,” said a police spokesman in Hamburg on Friday morning. Interior Senator Andy Grote (SPD) announced a press conference for noon, at which details of the crime and the status of the investigation should be announced. According to information from security circles, the police classified the crime as a rampage.

Source: Infographic WORLD

In the early morning, the police secured further tracks in front of, behind and in the three-storey building. Inside the building, investigators measured the crime scene with a 3D scanner. The entrance was covered with a privacy screen. The extensive barriers were initially dismantled in the morning and the road was released again.

According to the information, an event took place in the building of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the evening; the shots were fired around 9 p.m. Police forces were nearby and a few minutes later at the scene of the crime – and then “penetrated the property very quickly,” the police said. According to the information, the officials found several dead and seriously injured in the building.

Forces with special equipment

Forces with special equipment

Source: dpa/Jonas Walzberg

The crime scene has been cordoned off

The crime scene has been cordoned off

Source: dpa/Jonas Walzberg

Police officers happened to be near the crime scene because they were on their way back to their accommodation at the police headquarters in Alsterdorf, as WELT learned. The task forces were the special unit USE, which stands for support patrols for special situations. This unit is only available nationwide from the Hamburg police and was created in 2020 precisely for such situation reports. The model was a similar force from the Vienna police, which had supported the Hamburg police at the G-20 summit in summer 2017.

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When the special unit entered the building, the emergency services heard another shot, said a police spokesman. A person was also found. “According to initial findings, there are several dead among the victims,” ​​said a police spokesman during the night. When asked whether the perpetrator was among the dead, it said: “There are indications that it could be the perpetrator. But it is still unclear whether it was really the perpetrator.” There is no indication of another perpetrator or a fugitive.

The police set up an information portal. On the Website “Photos and videos of the crime or relevant events in this context could be uploaded,” said the Hamburg police on Twitter.

No evidence of fugitive perpetrators

Jehovah’s Witnesses said they were “deeply concerned” after the fatal shooting. “Our deepest sympathy goes to the families of the victims and the traumatized eyewitnesses. The chaplains of the local church are doing their best to assist them at this difficult time,” the statement said on the community’s website.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) described the deadly shots in a Jehovah’s Witnesses building in Hamburg as a brutal act of violence. “Bad news from #Hamburg. Several members of a Jehovah’s Church fell victim to a brutal act of violence last night,” he posted on Friday morning via the government account on Twitter. “My thoughts are with them and their families. And with the security forces, who have had a difficult deployment.”

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) was also shocked by the crime in Hamburg’s Alsterdorf district. “In this difficult hour, my thoughts are with the victims and their families, with the community members and also with the emergency services,” said Faeser of the German Press Agency. Hamburg’s Mayor Peter Tschentscher (SPD) was also dismayed. “The reports from Alsterdorf / Groß Borstel are shocking,” wrote Tschentscher on Twitter. “My deepest sympathy goes to the families of the victims.”

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The official danger warning issued after the attack has now been lifted. This was announced early Friday morning by the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance. The all-clear was given shortly after 3 a.m.

A neighbor reported several shots at the Jehovah’s Witnesses event during the night. “It was about four firing periods. During these periods, several shots were always fired, roughly 20 seconds to one minute apart,” reported student Lara Bauch. Later, people were carried onto the street by police officers on their hands and feet.

Four hours after the fatal shots, the forensics team finally entered the crime scene at night. They were still out and about in the three-story commercial building at 4:15 a.m. on Friday. Patrol cars had previously cordoned off the crime scene. Officers with submachine guns also secured the area.

Several dead in shooting at Jehovah's Witness church in Hamburg

What: REUTERS

What kind of event was held in the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses was initially unclear. One of two weekly meetings was announced on the Jehovah’s Witnesses website for Thursday evening. Police say several people attended the event.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a Christian community with their own interpretation of the Bible. The followers believe in Jehovah as “almighty God and Creator” and are supposed to submit to strict regulations. They are convinced that a new world is at hand and that they will be saved as a chosen church. Jehovah’s Witnesses have around eight million members worldwide. The “world headquarters” is in New York. The German community, with fewer than 200,000 members, is one of the largest in Europe.

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