An unnamed gunman has killed 3 and injured 4 people in a mass shooting rampage at a shopping mall in Copenhagen, Denmark. The victims of the attack are 2 danish teenagers and one middle-aged Russian man. The injured are in critical condition at the hospitals. The ‘Fields’ is one of the largest shopping centres in Scandinavia. The country has some of the toughest gun laws in all of Europe. It only provides licenses for firearms after background checks to those intending to use them for hunting or sport. Police said their investigation revealed that the Copenhagen shooter did not have permission for the weapon he used in the incident.
Copenhagen Shooter is Not Considered a Terrorist
The incident happened in the evening when shots were heard inside the shopping mall. Viral videos started making rounds on social media showing hundreds of people running out of the mall. The police arrested the 22-year-old Copenhagen shooter without violence within 11 minutes of their arrival.
The suspect is believed to be a “native Dane” and reportedly acted alone. The police said they found evidence that he belonged to any group or if someone helped him. They also said there was no connection to terrorism and his motives were not clear. Police suggested that this attack was random.
There was a lot of debate on social media that whether this person had a racist motive or only wanted to target specific kind of people. However, the police dismissed those claims and said the suspect will be charged for murder rather than terrorism.
Mental Health Issues
This is the first mass shooting incident in Demark since 2015, when Islamist radicals killed 2 people and injured 6 police officers during a series of attacks on a culture centre and a synagogue. Unlike the Copenhagen shooter, they were instantly branded as a terrorists. This led many to question the meaning of terrorism for the Denmark authorities. They asked if a shooter had to be Muslim in order to be qualified as a terrorist.
Reserving The Term ‘Terrorist’ for Specific Religion
The incident comes nearly a month after the devastating Texas school shooting, which intensified anti-gun law debate in the US. However, gun violence is very rare in Denmark as compared to the US. According to reports, 1 out of 100,000 dies in a gun crime annually. A large number of police was deployed at the scene of shooting and spots around Copenhagen. The scene presented a striking contrast to the celebration 2 days ago when the Tour de France passed the area. There was also a concert later in the evening featuring British popstar Harry Styles. It was cancelled in the condemnation of the incident. Tha artist also expressed his thoughts and condolences and said that he was praying for everyone affected by the shooting.
On the other hand, social media continued to argue if it was right for the Denmark authorities to dismiss this as terrorism act. The police raised questions on the mental health of the suspect which reminded people of every case involving white killer. They highlighted how the term “terrorist” was reserved for colored individuals while white killers get away with “mental health issues” no matter how much they terrorize a city.