- Several people were shot dead in a church in Hamburg in northern Germany.
- Authorities say a criminal is among the dead.
- The incident happened around 9:00 pm local time.
Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschencher called the attack on a Jehovah’s Witnesses church “shocking.”
“My deepest condolences to the families of the victims,” he wrote in a tweet.
A police operation is underway with the involvement of special forces.
What do we know so far?
Several people have died in a shooting at a church in the Gross-Borstel district of Hamburg, German police said.
The police did not give an exact figure, but German media reports that at least seven people were killed and many were injured.
According to preliminary data, shots rang out in the church on Dilbege Street in the Grossborstel district. Several people were seriously injured, some even fatal,” police said on Twitter.
According to them, the shooting occurred around 9 pm local time.
Police were alerted to the attack 15 minutes after it happened. Source: AARP / Jonas Walzberg
Police have warned people of “extreme danger” in the area with a disaster warning app.
Residents should stay at home and avoid the area, police said, adding that the streets surrounding the church were cordoned off.
Are there any victims?
The police did not give exact numbers, but the German media reported six dead.
On Thursday, police said the shooter was among several dead found in the building.
“We have no indication that the perpetrator is on the run,” a police spokesman at the scene said, adding that investigators instead have “indications that the perpetrator may have been in the building and may even be among the dead.”
Who are the criminals?
It is not yet clear how many criminals were involved and who they are. Police said more information would follow.
“At the moment, there is no reliable information about the motives for the crime,” they added.
Police urged people not to speculate about why the attack was carried out.
Witnesses reported hearing up to 12 shots from the building. Source: AARP / Daniel Bockwoldt
Who are Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Jehovah’s Witnesses is a non-violent Christian movement in the United States founded in the late 19th century, known for door-to-door evangelism.
The denomination has 175,000 members in Germany, including 3,800 in Hamburg.
Was there comparable violence in Germany?
Germany has been rocked in recent years by several attacks that authorities say were linked to terrorism.
Among the deadliest is a truck crash at a Christmas market in Berlin. .
February 2020 10 people were killed and five more were injured in the city of Hanau.
And in 2019, two people died after a neo-Nazi attempted to storm a synagogue. .