According to German police, the gunman who shot seven people at Hamburg’s Jehovah’s Witness building was a former member who had been warned of him by police.
Police referred to the 35-year old man as Philip F. He left the religious community 18-months ago with “ill feeling”, Hamburg’s head for police Matthias Tresp said at a Friday news conference.
In January, he received an anonymous letter from police stating that he may have a mental disorder and that weapons should be restricted as he is not seeking medical attention.
According to reports, he held a sports shooting license and felt angry at religious people, especially Jehovah’s Witnesses and his former employer Mr Tresp.
The gunman, who was not married, lived in Hamburg since 2014 and had previously studied in Munich.
Two officers responded to the letter and searched his home unannounced on February 7, finding his semi-automatic pistol safely stored in a safe.
The authorities stated that they did not see any evidence of mental illness and therefore didn’t request a health assessment.
He was described as “cooperative” at the time and “happy giving information”.
They said that the suspect had previously reported fraud and other crimes but that he had no criminal record and was not known to police.
Found dead in front of his gun
Philip F was found with the same Koch gun beside him in the Jehovah’s Witness building, Gross Borstel, shortly after 9pm on Thursday.
He fired 10 shots at a woman in her car, which was parked outside. She escaped unharmed. Unharmed, twenty others fled the scene.
An ex-congregation member committed suicide after killing six people, and an unborn child – German police
Attack on Jehovah’s Witness centre leaves eight people dead and three seriously hurt.
After shooting at a window, the suspect ran to the first floor where he entered.
There were seven people, and an unborn child who were killed there. He then turned the gun on his own.
Out of 50 people, eight others were also injured. Four of them serious.
Police searched his home again on Friday at 12.30 a.m. They found 15 magazines, 200 rounds ammunition, and laptops.
He was found with nine magazines empty, two in his hands and 20 loaded in his backpack.
Although his motives for the attack are not known, authorities have ruled it out as political, according to the head of the police.