German shooting: 7 dead including one unborn child at Jehovah’s Witness meeting
Seven people were killed, including an unborn child, after a gunman opened fire during a Jehovah’s Witness hall meeting in Hamburg, Germany reports said Friday.
The gunman, identified only as Philipp F. due to German privacy laws, fired over 100 rounds in what is believed to have been a solo attack Thursday night before taking his own life.
His motive remains unconfirmed, though he was reported to have been a former member of the religious group who posed “ill-feelings” toward the community, according to the BBC.
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Chancellor Olaf Scholz, a former mayor of Hamburg, described the attack as “a brutal act of violence.”
Footage has since emerged of the Thursday attack taken from a resident near the hall that showed the gunman firing through a window into the meeting.
Two women and four men were killed during the attack along with a seven-month-old unborn child. The mother of the child survived the attack after being hit in the womb, the BBC reported Friday.
Another eight people were injured in the attack, including four others who were seriously injured.
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A call was made to emergency authorities at 9:04 p.m. after gun shots rang out in Germany’s second-largest city. By 9:09, a special operations unit had arrived on the scene.
“We can assume that they saved many people’s lives,” Hamburg’s State Interior Minister Andy Grote told reporters, calling the shooting “the worst crime that our city has experienced recently.”
Hamburg Police Chief Ralf Martin Meyer said the guns were legally owned and that the gunman had a weapons license.
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Meyer also said that the 35-year-old had been flagged as possibly being unsuitable to own a weapon, but that authorities could not find that any regulations had been broken to remove said weapons.
German authorities did not need to fire a single shot after arriving at the scene.
It is unclear when exactly the gunman took his own life.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.