Another mass shooting in Germany, seven dead
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
HAMBURG, GERMANY (Worthy News) – A gunman opened fire in a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall in Germany’s northern city of Hamburg late Thursday, killing at least seven people, authorities said.
Police told the media that the gunman was believed to be among the dead. “We have no indications of a perpetrator on the run.”
Hamburg police said earlier on the social media network Twitter that a major police operation was underway in the GrossBorstel district of the city.
“According to initial findings, shots were fired in a church on Deelbögestrasse in the GrossBorstel district,” police said. “Several people were seriously injured, some fatally. We are on-site with a large contingent of officers.”
German media said that besides the seven people who died, at least 25 were injured – eight seriously – in the shooting shortly after 9 p.m.
Local media reported seeing rescue services taking people out of a building used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses sect. Police initially started evacuating people, including a woman who was pregnant.
Witnesses of the attack said they heard twelve shots reverberating at the scene. “We heard shots,” one man said. “There were 12 continuous shots.”
German police spoke of a “major” incident. Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher called reports of the shooting “shocking” and offered his “deepest condolences” to the victims’ families.
“The emergency services are working flat out to track down the perpetrators and clarify the background,” the mayor added in a statement.
The attack shocked the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who claim to have more than 2,000 congregations in Germany.
Police from a special unit was, by chance, already near the scene when the shooting happened, enabling a fast response local media reported.
Several mass shootings have rocked Germany in recent years.
In February 2020, a far-right extremist shot dead 10 people and wounded five others in the central German city of Hanau.
Earlier in 2019, two people were killed after a neo-Nazi tried to storm a synagogue in Halle on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
The motive for Thursday’s bloodshed in Hamburg wasn’t immediately clear.
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