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Copenhagen Shootings: Danish Gunman 'Had Violent Past'


Police released this image of the suspected gunman on Saturday

 


 January 6th, 2016  |  00:00 AM  |   5327 views

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COPENHAGEN : Danish police say the gunman believed to have attacked a free-speech debate and a Copenhagen synagogue was 22, born in Denmark and known to them because of past violence.

 

The presumed gunman was shot and killed early on Sunday morning by police who were monitoring an address in the Norrebro district of the city.

 

The man's name has not been released.

 

A film director and a synagogue guard were killed in separate attacks. Five police officers were also injured.

 

Police believe the gunman was acting alone.

 

He was known to them in connection with criminal gangs and had convictions for violent offences and dealing in weapons.

 

"It was the case that when the suspect was shot and killed during police action, he was armed with pistols," police commissioner Thorkild Fogde told a news conference.

 

He also said police had found a weapon which may have been used in the first shooting.

'No compromise'

The Danish intelligence service is investigating whether the gunman was copying the shootings in Paris last month, when 17 people were killed in attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket.

 

Earlier, the head of the intelligence service told reporters the man had been known to them, and police were working to determine whether he had travelled to Syria or Iraq.

 

Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt described the shootings as "a cynical act of terror against Denmark" and said her government would not compromise on its defence of free expression.

 

Ms Thorning-Schmidt later visited the synagogue and said Denmark would do everything to protect its Jewish community.

Denmark prides itself on being one of the few European countries to have saved most of its Jewish population from the Nazi Holocaust in the 1940s.

 

"When you mercilessly fire deadly bullets at innocent people taking part in a debate, when you attack the Jewish community, you attack our democracy," Ms Thorning-Schmidt said on a visit to the synagogue on Sunday.

 

"We will do everything possible to protect our Jewish community."

 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged Danish Jews to emigrate to Israel. Denmark's Chief Rabbi Jair Melchior said he was "disappointed" by Mr Netanyahu's stance, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

 

"If the way we deal with terror is to run somewhere else, we should all run to a deserted island,"said Mr Melchior, according to AP.

 


 

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