German police investigating Hamburg taking pictures at Jehovah’s Witness corridor


German authorities had been investigating Friday the motive of a shooter who killed seven at a Jehovah’s Witness corridor in Hamburg the night time earlier than, significantly wounding a number of others.

Officials imagine they discovered the physique of the alleged gunman on-site, however declined to present additional particulars. Witnesses described to native media listening to a number of rounds of gunfire in the midst of the night.

German information outlet Der Spiegel reported that the gunman is believed to have been a former member of the U.S.-headquartered religion group that claims 8.7 million adherents in its congregations, often called Kingdom Halls, worldwide. The group claims about 170,000 members in Germany.

The corridor focused Thursday night time is positioned in a residential space in northern Hamburg, Germany’s second-most populous metropolis.

In a tweet, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz — who till 2018 served as mayor of Hamburg — mentioned the useless and injured had fallen “victim to a brutal act of violence last night. My thoughts are with them and their relatives.”

Condolences additionally poured in from overseas, together with from French President Emmanuel Macron.

In a press release, the German Jehovah’s Witnesses group mentioned that “our deepest sympathy goes to the families of the victims and the traumatized eyewitnesses. The local ministers are doing their best to support them in this difficult hour.”

Authorities mentioned they’d launch additional particulars in a information convention afterward Friday, as they appealed to eyewitnesses to ship footage of the taking pictures to a safe web site.

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A close-by resident, Lara Bauch, mentioned she heard 4 rounds of gunfire Thursday night time. In every of them, pictures had been fired “at intervals of 20 seconds to a minute,” she advised German information company dpa.

Another eyewitness, Gregor Miesbach, advised German tv information company NonstopNews that he heard over 25 pictures and noticed an individual enter the constructing by way of a window, earlier than opening hearth inside.

Police officers discovered a number of individuals useless and others injured by bullets after they arrived on the constructing round 9:15 p.m. native time, Hamburg police spokesman Holger Vehren mentioned in an on-camera interview from the scene Thursday night time.

“The dead all have gunshot wounds,” a police spokesman advised Northern German Broadcasting, the native public radio and tv broadcaster.

After arriving on the crime scene, police heard a final gunshot from throughout the Jehovah’s Witness constructing and located a physique after they adopted the sound, Vehren mentioned.

Maham Javaid, Amar Nadhir and Kate Brady contributed to this report.

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