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Danish police say mall gunman acted alone, opened fire at random

A gunman who killed three people when he opened fire in a crowded shopping mall acted alone and apparently selected his victims at random, Danish police say, all but ruling out that the attack was an “act of terrorism.”

Police have not identified a motive for Sunday’s attack inside one of Scandinavia’s biggest shopping centers. A suspect carrying a rifle and knife was quickly arrested, and Copenhagen chief police inspector Søren Thomassen says the 22-year-old Danish man also had access to another gun.

He says the firearms were obtained illegally and the suspect was known to mental health services but gave no further details on either.

“It was the worst possible nightmare,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen says, calling the attack “unusually brutal.”

The three killed were a 17-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl, both Danes, and a 47-year-old Russian man, according to Thomassen. Four more people were hospitalized with gunshot wounds and were in critical but stable condition. In all 30 people were hurt, most in the panicked stampede after the shots rang out at the Field’s shopping center, on the outskirts of the Danish capital.

Thomassen says police have no indication that anyone helped the gunman, and his motive remains unclear.

“There is nothing in our investigation, or the documents we have reviewed, or the things we have found, or the witnesses’ statements we have gotten, that can substantiate that this is an act of terrorism,” says Thomassen, who previously identified the suspect as an “ethnic Dane,” a phrase typically used to mean someone is white.

Danish broadcaster TV2 publishes a grainy photo of the alleged gunman, a man wearing knee-length shorts, a vest or sleeveless shirt, and holding what appeared to be a rifle in his right hand.

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