Hamburg police probe Jehovah’s Witness hall shooting that left several dead
Berlin, March 10 (EFE).- Investigations were continuing in Hamburg on Friday morning after several people were killed and others were injured in a shooting in a Jehovah’s Witness center in Germany’s second city.
Forensic experts worked through the night following Thursday’s attack, and many details about the incident remain unknown, including a potential motive and the identity of the suspect, who is believed to be dead.
Police are due hold a press conference on Friday at noon.
The shooting occurred around 9 pm (20:00 GMT) on Thursday in a three-story building, reported to be the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall, in the Gross Borstel neighborhood of Hamburg.
Authorities are yet to issue official casualty figures.
“Several people were fatally injured. Other people were injured in the act,” Hamburg Police said in a statement Thursday night.
German news outlet Bild on Friday morning reported eight deaths and at least eight others injured.
There was no indication a perpetrator was on the run and police believe a body found in the hall may be that of the gunman.
Officers “found a lifeless person in a community center in Gross Borstel who we believe could be a perpetrator,” police tweeted.
“Based on the current state of affairs, we assume one perpetrator,” it later added, saying investigations were ongoing.
Special forces were deployed alongside police, said the city-state’s Interior Senator Andy Grote.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz took to Twitter Friday morning to comment on the “bad news from Hamburg.”
“Several members of a Jehovah’s Church fell victim to a brutal act of violence last night. My thoughts are with them and their families. And with the security forces, who have had a difficult deployment,” he wrote.
Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher tweeted his “deepest condolences to the families of the victims” following the “shocking” attack.
A website for the uploading of photos and video of the crime “or relevant events” has been set up to help with the investigation.
Members of the church denomination meet twice weekly at the hall, German media said, but it was not clear what event was taking place at the time of the incident. EFE