December 2, 2023

Shots were fired inside a building used by Jehovah’s Witnesses in the northern German city of Hamburg on Thursday evening, killing at least eight people. 

The shooting took place in the Gross Borstel district, a few kilometres north of the downtown area of Germany’s second-biggest city.

According to the German Bild newspaper, at least eight people were killed in the incident and several more were injured. 

Police announced overnight on Twitter that they had discovered a body “in a parish house in Gross Borstel and we believe it could be a perpetrator” of the shooting. “At this point, we assume there was only one shooter,” they said.

“A large number of law enforcement agencies are” at the site of the Jehovah’s Witness centre, Hamburg police added.

The Federal Office for Civil Protection lifted the official danger alert for the attack around 3:00 am local time.

Local media footage showed a big police presence outside the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall, a modern three-story building.

Armed police officers gather near the scene of a shooting in Hamburg, Germany.AP Photo

Police spokesperson Holger Vehren said officers were alerted to the shooting at about 9:15 pm and were on the scene quickly. He said that after officers arrived, they heard a shot from an upper floor and found a person upstairs who may have been a shooter. He said police did not have to use their firearms.

Police had no information on the event that was underway in the building when the shooting took place.

They also had no immediate information on a possible motive. Vehren said that “the background is still completely unclear.”

Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher tweeted that the news was “shocking” and offered his sympathy to the victim’s relatives.


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