Germany: 7 killed in shooting in Hamburg, gunman suspected dead
A deadly shooting left at least seven people dead and several others wounded at a Jehovah's Witnesses hall in Germany's second-largest city of Hamburg on Thursday at around 9 pm (local time). The police suspect that the gunman is among those found dead as there was no sign of a perpetrator on the run. The motive for the crime has not been established yet.
Warning issued using central mobile app
Following the incident, police issued a "life-threatening situation" warning in the area via a disaster warning app and asked people to stay indoors while cordoning off the area around the building. The incident reportedly occurred on Gross Borstel's Deelboge Street, where an event was taking place at the Kingdom Hall. Notably, emergency calls to the police were made at around 9:15 pm (local time).
The identity of the attacker has not been revealed
Several people have been killed and several others seriously injured in a shooting at a Jehovah's Witness church in the northern German city of Hamburg, with the motive for the attack unclear, police said https://t.co/dqCWX2mLtU pic.twitter.com/Inu0J6bwxX— Reuters (@Reuters) March 10, 2023
Police heard a gunshot on arrival
When the police first arrived at the scene, they saw several dead bodies and injured persons. They also heard a gunshot from the upper level of the three-story building, where they discovered a body. The police suspect that the individual was the perpetrator. The fire department reportedly attended to around 17 unhurt people who were present at the event.
Police tried to verify if other perpetrators are involved
Two onlookers told reporters that they heard 12 gunshots, while a student living nearby said there were nearly four periods of shooting. According to a police spokesperson, they were not required to use firearms upon entering the building and added they were also attempting to determine whether any other perpetrator was involved. The bomb squad was also sent to the scene after the attack.
Who are Jehovah's Witnesses
The Jehovah's Witnesses is a Christian sect that began in the 19th century with beliefs that differed from mainstream Christianity. It promotes nonviolence and is well-known for door-to-door evangelism. Notably, there are approximately 1.75 lakh Jehovah's Witnesses in Germany, of which 3,800 are in Hamburg.
Germany hit by multiple terror attacks in recent years
In recent years, Germany has seen multiple attacks from Islamic and neo-Nazi terrorists, as per AFP. In 2020, a far-right extremist shot dead 10 people in Hanau. In 2019, two people died in Halle after a neo-Nazi tried to storm a synagogue on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. In 2016, a truck rampage by an ISIS supporter killed 12 people in Berlin.