Deadly shooting at Hamburg Jehovah’s Witness hall

 Seven people, includ­ing an unborn baby, have been killed in a shooting at a Jehovah’s Witness meeting hall in the German city of Hamburg, police say.

They say the gunman acted alone in Thursday’s attack, and later took his own life. His motives are unknown.

The suspect, named only as Philipp F, is said to have had “ill feelings” towards the religious community, of which he had previously been a member. Video has emerged appearing to show him firing through a window of the hall.

At a briefing on Friday, the po­lice said four men and two women were shot dead. All the dead were German nationals. Eight people were injured, four seriously. A Ugandan and a Ukrainian were among those hurt. A woman who was seven months pregnant was shot – killing her unborn baby. The mother survived.

The first emergency call came at 21:04 local time (20:04 GMT) on Thursday to report that shots had been fired in the building on Deel­böge Street, Gross Borstel district, the police said.

Officers were on site four min­utes later, and they were almost im­mediately joined by Special Forces. The officers had to break windows to enter the building where about 50 people had gathered.

The suspect – described as a 35-year-old “sports shooter” who had a gun licence – had fled to the first floor. His “lifeless body” was found shortly afterwards.

He had managed to shoot nine magazines of ammunition, and 20 more were found in his backpack.

German Senator, Andy Grote, said, “Fast and decisive actions” by police officers had saved many lives. He also described the attack as the “worst crime” in Hamburg’s recent history.

Police confirmed that they had previously received an anonymous tip-off that raised concerns about the perpetrator’s mental health. Officers had visited him after the tip-off – but did not have enough grounds to take away his gun at the time.

Gregor Miesbach, who filmed the gunman shooting through a first-floor window, told the Bild newspaper: “I didn’t realise what was happening. I was filming with my phone, and only realised through the zoom that someone was shooting at Jehovah’s Witness­es. —BBC

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