German police are investigating a lone gunman who killed several people in a Jehovah’s Witnesses church in Hamburg on Thursday night. The police have not released any details about the casualties, but it is believed that the suspected gunman was among the dead.
The shooting resulted in seven deaths and eight injuries, according to a report in Bild newspaper. The Jehovah’s Witnesses said that many of the injured were in critical condition.
According to a report by Spiegel magazine, the gunman who killed several people in a Jehovah’s Witnesses church in Hamburg on Thursday night was believed to be a former member of the community. The man was aged between 30 and 40 and was not known to authorities as an extremist, the report said, citing unnamed sources.
The police have not released any information about the suspect’s motive for the attack, which left several dead and many injured. The Hamburg police are expected to hold a press conference to provide more information about the incident later on Friday.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed his condolences on Twitter, saying, “Bad news from Hamburg. Several members of a Jehovah’s Church fell victim to a brutal act of violence last night. My thoughts are with them and their families. And with the security forces, who have had a difficult deployment behind them.”
Schlimme Nachrichten aus #Hamburg. Mehrere Mitglieder einer Jehova-Gemeinde sind gestern Abend einer brutalen Gewalttat zum Opfer gefallen. Meine Gedanken sind bei ihnen und ihren Angehörigen. Und bei den Sicherheitskräften, die einen schweren Einsatz hinter sich haben.
— Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz (@Bundeskanzler) March 10, 2023
Interior Minister Nancy Faeser also tweeted that authorities were urgently investigating the crime.
Late on Thursday, the police issued a statement saying, “We assume that there is one perpetrator. Investigations into the motives behind the crime are continuing.”
Ich bin erschüttert über die furchtbare Gewalttat in einer Gemeinde der Zeugen Jehovas in #Hamburg. Meine Gedanken sind bei den Opfern, ihren Angehörigen & den Gemeindemitgliedern. Die Hintergründe werden mit Hochdruck ermittelt. Vielen Dank an @PolizeiHamburg & Rettungskräfte.
— Nancy Faeser (@NancyFaeser) March 10, 2023
Germany has some of Europe’s strictest gun control regulations. Last year, the interior minister announced that the government intended to strengthen gun control in response to a suspected far-right organization’s conspiracy to violently topple the state.