Unborn child of a woman seven months pregnant was one of the victims in a mass shooting at a Jehovah’s Witness office in Hamburg.
Police identified the gunman as Philipp F. A 35-year-old German man with no previous offences, who had been a member since 1998 but left 18 months ago due to “ill feelings”.
Police stated that they received conflicting reports about whether the man was left or excluded by his own will.
The officers also discovered that an anonymous letter was sent in January to them, stating that the attacker should not have weapons and that he may be suffering from mental illness.
He also stated that he was angry with Jehovah’s Witnesses as well as his former employer.
After receiving an anonymous letter in February, two police officers went to the apartment of the gunman unannounced. They found him “cooperative” but did not take his weapon.
The incident resulted in six deaths, including an unborn child. It also led to the death of the attacker, who also took his own life.
Officials also stated:
* Four men, two women, and an unborn child were among the victims. The attacker was not connected to any of the victims, according to police. All were German citizens
* The shooting did not kill the mother of the unborn baby.
* Eight people were injured, four of them very seriously. Six of the eight people who were hurt are Germans, one Ugandan and one Ukrainian.
* At the time of the shooting, there were 50 people present in the congregation. The gunman entered the building and 20 people were able escape the building unscathed.
Andy Grote, Hamburg’s interior minister, stated that the gunman fled to the floor where the shooting occurred and was then isolated by police.
During the shooting, the gunman fired over 100 rounds.
Police said that the attacker also fired 10 shots at a woman parked outside before he entered the building. But she was able to escape and inform police.
It was a “horrific crime” that Mr Grote described as “very cruel”.
It was something he said he had never experienced before – he saw it on TV and elsewhere, but he’d never seen it in his city.
He said, “It was one of the most serious crimes our city has seen in recent years.”
At 9.04pm on Thursday, police were alerted to the attack on the Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall in the Gross Borstel District of Germany ‘s 2nd largest city. The incident prompted 47 emergency calls to police.
Officials said that a special operations unit of police arrived on the scene at 9.09pm.
Ralf Meyer, Hamburg Police Chief, stated that the man was legally armed with a semi-automatic gun and had a weapons license.
Officials confirmed that the gunman was not married and was working in Hamburg.
Police said that Philipp F was not the subject of any other reports and that he hadn’t committed any offenses.
Officials said that the gunman reported a possible fraud to police. This is being investigated by prosecutors.
The police also confirmed that they searched the apartment of the gunman at 12.30 on Friday morning, three hours after the shooting. They found 15 more loaded magazines and four additional packs of ammunition. The apartment was also searched by police for laptops and smartphones.
Police cannot release the full surname of the gunman in accordance with Germany’s privacy laws.
German Chancellor Olaf Schholz was a former Hamburg mayor who described the shooting as a “brutal act of violence” but said that he was “speechless”.
Additionally, Mr Scholz stated that authorities are concerned about the possibility of more victims dying from their severe injuries.