herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Two held as danish police kill rampaging gunman

Danish police said today that they have arrested two men suspected of helping the gunman who carried out two deadly shooting attacks over the weekend in Copenhagen.

Police said the arrests were made yesterday and that the two men will face a custody hearing today.

The defense attorney for one of the two suspects, Michael Juul Eriksen, said that the two were accused of giving the gunman shelter and getting rid of a weapon.

The suspect killed two people in his weekend attacks, including a Danish filmmaker and a member of Denmark's Jewish community.

He first opened fire on Saturday at a cultural centre hosting a seminar on free speech with an artist who had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad and then later at security forces outside a synagogue, police said.

Hours later the suspect was killed in a gun battle with a SWAT team.

Police say the slain gunman was a 22-year-old with a history of violence and may have been inspired by Islamic terrorists - and possibly by the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. They have not yet released his name.

The suspect was killed after he opened fire on officers who had tracked him down in Copenhagen. Police said the man is from the Danish capital, declining to identify him further.

synagogue

He's a suspect in shootings that left one person dead at a cafe hosting a free-speech debate and another victim at a separate attack at a synagogue. Police declined to comment on reports that another person was arrested today by heavily-armed officers in Copenhagen.

"Denmark has been hit by terror," Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said at a press conference in the Danish capital. "There are many questions police are still working on to try to answer."

The attacks, just five weeks after the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, started with a burst of gunfire on Saturday afternoon at a cafe in the city's wealthy Oesterbro district. The gathering to debate the role of art and free speech was organised by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, known for his caricature of the Prophet Muhammad. Vilks, who's under police protection, was rushed to safety.

A 55-year-old man, identified as a film maker who had probably been at the cafe to listen to the debate, was killed while three police officers were injured.

hnews@herald.ie

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