Man killed in shooting outside Copenhagen synagogue
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Man killed in shooting outside Copenhagen synagogue

Police say two cops are injured; unclear if attack is linked to earlier cafe shooting; manhunt underway

Policemen secure the area around a building in Copenhagen, Denmark, where shots were fired on February 14, 2015 outside the venue of a debate held on Islam and free speech. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO / MARTIN SYLVEST / SCANPIX)
Policemen secure the area around a building in Copenhagen, Denmark, where shots were fired on February 14, 2015 outside the venue of a debate held on Islam and free speech. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO / MARTIN SYLVEST / SCANPIX)

Danish police confirmed early Sunday morning that one man was killed after a gunman shot him in the head outside a Copenhagen synagogue.

The shooter also injured two policemen in the arm and leg.

The gunman fled the scene on foot, and a manhunt was underway.

“It started with police being down at the site. A person comes up and starts to shoot,” police spokesman Allan Teddy Wadsworth-Hansen said.

“The two police who were there were hit, one in the arm and one in the leg. They are both currently receiving treatment. Their lives are not in danger,” he added.

He declined to say if there was any link between the dead man and Copenhagen’s main synagogue, which is just meters away from where the incident took place.

Parts of the Danish capital had been cordoned off but “it’s not a question of a general curfew. People are allowed to travel around Copenhagen, safely,” Wadsworth-Hansen said.

The shooting took place in Krystalgade, a street that is home to Copenhagen’s main synagogue.

The nearby Noerreport train station, one of the country’s busiest, had been evacuated and trains were not stopping there, Danish news agency Ritzau reported, quoting train operator DSB.

Local residents were instructed to remain indoors until further notice.

As a manhunt was underway in central Copenhagen, media described “massive police action” between the station and the Botanical Garden, and a helicopter was heard overhead outside AFP’s office.

“Police are struggling with many drunk people in the area, which is close to many Copenhagen pubs and nightclubs,” the Berlingske newspaper said on its website.

The Danish Emergency Management Agency urged people in central Copenhagen to text “I’m okay” to their families in a post on its Twitter account

Police said it was not immediately clear whether the shooting was connected to an earlier attack at a cultural center in Copenhagen, where one person was killed and three injured by a lone gunman.

Swedish artist Lars Vilks — the author of controversial Prophet Muhammad cartoons that sparked worldwide protests in 2007 — was among those at the debate targeted by the gunman at the cultural center, who fled the scene after a shootout with police. Police released a photo of the suspect showing a man in a dark anorak and a maroon hat carrying a black bag. They described him as 25-30 years old, around 185cm (six feet) tall, with an athletic build, and shared a photo of the suspect on Twitter.

French ambassador to Denmark Francois Zimeray, who had been present at the debate but was not hurt, told AFP the shooting was an attempt to replicate the January 7 killings at the Charlie Hebdo weekly in Paris.

Last month, four Jewish men were killed in a terror attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris, days after the Charlie Hebdo attack.

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