Copenhagen mall shooting suspect charged with manslaughter

Copenhagen. Image: Google Maps

July 4 (UPI) — The man suspected of shooting three people dead at a Copenhagen mall has been charged with manslaughter as Danish police said he suffered from mental illness and provided updates on the people injured.

The 22-year-old man appeared before a court Monday in a closed hearing where he was charged with manslaughter and attempted manslaughter, according to the Danish newspaper Berlingske.

Under Danish law, manslaughter is the legal term used for the taking of a life by another and is punishable with a sentence of five years to life in prison.

The suspect was dressed in blue and was placed in handcuffs as he was led into the court while his father attended the hearing, Berlingske reported.

The judge imposed a name ban on the suspect and the victims, who will not be publicly identified, and the suspect’s lawyers refused to enter a plea for him until the hearing moved into a closed environment without media present, the BBC reported, citing Danish media.

Copenhagen police said during a Monday morning news conference that the suspect had previous mental health issues and was known to psychiatric professionals, according to a translation from CNN.

The Copenhagen Police Department in a news release also provided updates on the victims. Those killed included a 17-year-old Danish girl, a 17-year-old Danish boy and a 47-year-old Russian citizen living in the country.

Police also said that another four people suffered gunshot wounds including two Danish citizens aged 19 and 40 and two Swedish citizens aged 16 and 50. Another 20 people had injuries caused by the evacuation of the Field’s shopping center.

The suspect is believed to have acted alone and police are not currently considering the incident a terrorist attack, police said.

Officers first received reports of shots fired at around 5:37 p.m. inside Field’s, which is Denmark’s largest shopping center and located about 9 minutes from Copenhagen by subway.

The Flemish Peace Institute, a think tank hosted by the Flemish Parliament in Belgium, has noted that Denmark has been ranked the second-most peaceful nation in the world and has very low violent crime rates.

“Denmark has one of the strictest — possibly the strictest — gun ownership laws in Europe,” the Flemish Peace Institute said. “The only type of weapon that civilians may own without a license are air rifles of a caliber of 4.5 mm or less.”

All other firearms require a license and self-defense is not a legitimate reason for acquiring a weapon, according to the think tank.

“The only two reasons for being granted a firearms license are for sports shooting and hunting purposes,” according to the think tank. “To gain an individual license, sports shooters are required to have been active members of a sports shooting club for at least two years.”

Hunters must pass an advanced hunting exam and are allowed to use semi-automatic rifles but cannot carry more than two magazine cartridges at a time.

There are currently only about 170,000 active hunting licenses in Denmark, which has a population of about 5.8 million.


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