Denmark was on high alert after a shooting near a synagogue in Copenhagen left a civilian dead and two police officers wounded early Sunday morning, hours after a gunman fatally shot a man and wounded three police officers at a free speech event in the same city.
Combined, the shootings left two dead and five police officers wounded.
The second attack, adjacent to a synagogue in the Krystalgade area of Copenhagen, left a male civilian dead, and two officers with wounds to the arms and legs, police said. The wounded officers were receiving treatment. Police spokesman Allan Wadsworth-Hansen said that is was unclear if the attack near the synagogue was related to the attack at the free speech event.
The identity of the victim had not been released.
Security personnel scoured the city for suspects, and hours after the synagogue attack, Copenhagen police confirmed that they had shot and killed a man near the Nørrebro rail station that was suspected of carrying out the attacks. Police said that when they confronted the man, who was a person of interest, he opened fire and was then shot. No police officers were shot, a statement said. The man's identity was not released. Danish intelligence chief Jens Madsen said that the man had been on the agency's radar, and that investigators believed he was inspired by Islamic radicalism.
Politimand såret og mand nede foran Jødisk synagoge. pic.twitter.com/v3vRg4mFNL
— Rasmus Thau Riddersh (@rtridder) February 15, 2015
Police urged people to stay indoors as they searched for the gunman.
On Saturday, a lone gunman opened fire at Krudttønden cafe in Copenhagen, which was hosting a free speech event, killing one man and wounding three police officers. "We feel certain now that it was a politically motivated attack, and thereby it was a terrorist attack," Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said. "We are on high alert and there will be exceptional staff and police presence in Copenhagen all night," senior police inspector Jørgen Skov said in a statement.
The victim in the shooting had not been identified, but described as a man in his 50s.
No one had yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
The free speech event featured Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has stirred controversy for his caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, and been the target of numerous death threats. He was unharmed in the shooting at the cafe. Vilks told the Associated Press he believed he was the target of the attack. "What other motive could there be? It's possible it was inspired by Charlie Hebdo," he said, referring to the attacks on the French satirical magazine in January.
The U.S. National Security Council condemned the attacks and offered condolences to the victims. The U.S. said it had been communicating with the Danish government, and was ready to offer assistance to the investigation.
The shootings occurred a month after an attack on the Paris office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which left 12 dead. The suspects in the killing, Cherif Kouachi and Said Kouachi, had been known to French authorities for their association with militant Islamist extremism. They were both killed in a gunfight with French security.
The proximity of the two shootings in Denmark can be seen in the map below:
— Tinne Hjersing (@Tinnehjersing) February 15, 2015
Photos from the scene near the shooting outside a synagogue in Copenhagen.
— Jean-Pierre (@JeanPeezy) February 15, 2015
— F. Pradhan-Blach (@fpb_dk) February 15, 2015
Politi med automatvåben udvider afspærring. Strøget lukket v. Rundetårn. Helikop. i luften. Jeg bliver sendt væk nu. pic.twitter.com/opkAuV827U
— Steen A. Jørgenssen (@SteenAJ) February 15, 2015
— henning due (@henningdue) February 15, 2015
Clarification: This article has been updated at some points to reflect that the shooting happened near a synagogue, not at a synagogue.