A shooting at a Jehovah’s Witnesses center in Hamburg Germany killed 8 people, including the suspected gunman, authorities confirmed Friday while the motivation for the attack remained unknown.
An explanation for the shooting on Thursday night, which shocked Germany’s second-largest city, is yet unknown. Former Hamburg mayor and current chancellor Olaf Scholz called the shooting “a brutal act of violence.”
Throughout the evening, police stated that they thought there was just one shooter, who might have been one of the people discovered dead within the structure.
To gather evidence, investigators toiled through the night. As a light snowfall fell outside the building on Friday morning, forensic investigators dressed in protective white coats could still be seen. Police marked evidence with yellow cones by placing them on the floor and window sills.
According to Hamburg officials, an informational press conference will be held on Friday at noon.
In an early Friday email, Jehovah’s Witnesses spokesperson David Semonian stated that members “worldwide grieve for the victims of this traumatic event.”
“The congregation elders in the local area are providing pastoral care for those affected by the event,” he wrote. “We understand that the authorities are still investigating the details of this crime. We appreciate the courageous help provided by the police and emergency services.”
The shooting occurred inside the Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall, a boxy, three-story structure next to an auto repair shop in the Gross Borstel neighborhood, a few miles (kilometers) outside Hamburg’s central business center.
According to police spokesman Holger Vehren, officers were swiftly dispatched to the area after being informed of the gunshot around 9:15 p.m. (2015 GMT).
He claimed that after authorities came and saw persons on the main floor with what seemed to be gunshot wounds, they heard a shot from an upper floor and discovered a mortally injured person who may have been the shooter upstairs. He claimed that cops were not required to deploy their weapons.
According to student Laura Bauch, who lives close, there were roughly four firing intervals, according to the German news agency dpa. According to the witness, there were typically many shots during these times, spaced from 20 to 60 seconds apart.
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According to Bauch, she noticed a figure racing from the Jehovah’s Witnesses hall’s first floor to the second floor as she peered out of her window.
Shots were heard by Gregor Miesbach, who lived nearby, and caught a man entering the building through a window on camera. Then, images can be heard inside. Later, it appears that the figure exits the hallway, is visible in the courtyard, and then opens fire again through a first-floor window before the lights in the room are turned out.
Check out the tweet that NBC News posted for more information-
BREAKING UPDATE: 7 people dead in shooting at a Jehovah’s Witness hall in the German city of Hamburg, police say. https://t.co/61wBna5ILt
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 10, 2023
Miesbach reported hearing at least 25 gunshots to the German television news source NonstopNews. Around five minutes after the cops came, the witness claimed there was one final shot.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses belong to a multinational church with its main office in Warwick, New York, and was established in the United States in the 19th century. It claims to have 8.7 million members globally, including 170,000 in Germany.
Members are renowned for their door-to-door evangelism and book distribution in public places. One of the denomination’s distinguishing customs is its rejection of blood transfusions, national flag salutes, the right to bear arms, and participation in secular governance.
The above information is officially published on APNews.