Eight people were killed and others seriously wounded in a shooting at a Jehovah’s Witnesses church in Hamburg last night, amid reports that the shooter who is among the dead may have been a former member of the religious community.
Police declared a ‘mass casualty incident’ following the massacre at the Kingdom Hall church in the GroßBorstel district of Germany’s second-biggest city.
Local media outlets reported that the shooting had also left eight people seriously injured. Police said the gunman – who fired through the window before storming the building during a bible study meeting – is believed to be among the dead.
German newspaper Spiegel reported the suspect as being a former member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in his 30s or 40s, that he used a pistol, and was not known to police as an extremist. No other details of the suspected killer were released, and police urged people not to speculate on the motive for the shooting.
Grainy footage released by German tabloid Bild purported to show the shooter firing into the building from the outside. Witnesses said they heard 12 shots.
People in the building were seen being ushered to safety by armed police at the scene after someone opened fire inside the church. Reports say at least seven people are dead, with police saying they believe the shooter is among them