Three People Hurt In Shooting Outside Copenhagen Synagouge - Jewish Guard Dies Of Wounds
February 14, 2015
Shots Fired Outside Copenhagen Synagogue
Three people hurt as gunman opens fire on a synagogue in central Copenhagen.
One person was shot in the head and two police officers were wounded in an attack on a synagogue in central Copenhagen on Saturday night, according to Reuters.
Danish police said, however, that it was too early to say whether the incident was connected to an earlier one at a cafe.
Danish television station TV2 said a large metro and train station nearby, Norreport, was being evacuated.
The news followed a shooting attack earlier Saturday on a cafe which hosted a debate on freedom of speech and was attended by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has been threatened with death for his cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.
One man died in that attack, and police said a suspect was still at large.
Witness: More Than 50 People Hid During Copenhagen AttackSome 50 people, many of them children, hid inside the synagogue in Copenhagen that was shot at Saturday afternoon, a witness said.
Some 50 people, many of them children, were hidden inside the synagogue in Copenhagen that was shot at Saturday afternoon. They were guests at a Bat-Mitzvah that was taking place in the synagogue at the time, and when they heard shots they ran for cover in the basement of the building.
Speaking to the NRG Hebrew language news site, Eva Blum, a Jewish journalist who lives in Copenhagen, said that many of those who took shelter in the basement of the community center/synagogue were children – and that many of them remained where they were for hours after the shooting, far into Saturday night.
"We were at a Bat Mitzvah, and all of the sudden someone shouted out that the dancing and singing should stop and that we should all go down to the basement," she said. "First we were in one room together, and then some of us moved into a second, more secure room. We realized something bad had happened, and we stayed where we were, even though it was very hot.
"We had no idea what was happening," she said. "The father of the Bat-Mitzvah girl heard the police and security guards speaking and found out the story. He only told the adults that one of the guards had been shot. We did not tell the children the details, only that there had been an attack and that we were protected."
The victim in the shooting was named as Dan Ozan, 37. The shooting came after an earlier one at a café in the city where a "Blasphemy Conference" conducted by Mohammed cartoonist Lars Vilks was taking place. Police shot and killed the lone gunman they said was responsible for both shootings.
Copenhagen attacks: Suspect killed by police was on spy agency's 'radar'
Danish police shot and killed a man early Sunday suspected of carrying out shooting attacks at a free speech event and then at a Copenhagen synagogue, killing two men, including a member of Denmark's Jewish community.
Five police officers were also wounded in the attacks.
"Denmark has been hit by terror," Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said. "We do not know the motive for the alleged perpetrator's actions, but we know that there are forces that want to hurt Denmark. They want to rebuke our freedom of speech."
"When you mercilessly fire deadly bullets at innocent people taking part in a debate, when you attack the Jewish community, you attack our democracy," Thorning-Schmidt said outside the synagogue where a guard had been killed by the suspect. "We will do everything possible to protect our Jewish community."
Jens Madsen, head of the Danish intelligence agency PET, said investigators believe the gunman was inspired by Islamic radicalism.
"PET is working on a theory that the perpetrator could have been inspired by the events in Paris. He could also have been inspired by material sent out by [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group] and others," Madsen said.
Islamic radicals carried out a massacre at the Charlie Hebdo newsroom in Paris last month, followed by an attack on Jews at a kosher grocery store, taking the lives of 17 victims.
At a news conference Madsen also said investigators have identified the suspect and that he is someone who had been on the agency's "radar." He did not reveal his identity.
'Appalling attack' on free speech
Denmark's Chief Rabbi, Jair Melchior, identified the Jewish victim as Dan Uzan, 37, a longtime security guard for the 7,000-strong community. He was guarding a building behind the synagogue during a bat mitzvah when he was shot in the head. Two police officers who were there were slightly wounded...