Alleged Accomplices In Copenhagen Shootings Have Been Arrested
As Denmark continues to mourn on Monday, two suspects were arrested in connection to the Copenhagen shootings, which left two people dead in the Danish capital over the weekend. The shooting spree, which began outside a popular Copenhagen cafe Saturday afternoon and ended near a Jewish synagogue early Sunday morning, comes just one month after the deadly Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris that rocked Western Europe and pitted freedom of speech against Islamic terrorism.
According to the Associated Press, the two male suspects are being jailed for 10 days, having been accused of aiding the gunman, identified by Danish media as 22-year-old Danish national Omar El-Hussein, before the second round of shooting. The two men allegedly helped Hussein dispose of evidence and hide from police as officers searched Copenhagen for him on Saturday.
Investigators are still piecing together what happened on Saturday, when about 30 to 40 bullets were sprayed into a Copenhagen cafe were an event on free speech was being held. Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, known for controversial drawings of the Prophet Muhammad published eight years ago, and French ambassador François Zimeray were speaking at the event.
A Copenhagen police spokesperson told reporters on Monday that they believe Hussein stopped at an Internet cafe on Saturday evening, not long after the first shooting. Authorities reportedly raided the Internet cafe on Sunday, where they initially took the two jailed suspects into custody. The spokesperson added that Danish police are still looking for more possible accomplices, as they are currently uncertain if Hussein was working alone.
Spokesperson Steen Hansen added to The Independent that after ditching his car on Saturday, Hussein took a taxi to the Copenhagen neighborhood of Nørrebro before carrying out the second shooting. "We know he got a taxi to the area, and then he was seen on surveillance cameras on the area and then he was seen leaving," Hansen told the news source. "The police got that information some hours later, and then he came back there early in the morning."
Two people, both civilians, were killed in the separate attacks on Saturday, while five police officers were injured. Vilks and Zimeray, who were noted speakers at the freedom of speech event, were both unharmed.
After the shots were fired into the cafe, Zimeray tweeted that he was still alive. Later, he thanked Danish police for protecting him from the gunfire.
Hussein died during a shoot-out with authorities early Sunday morning, according to BBC News. Police commissioner Thorkild Fogde confirmed in a press conference that Hussein "shot and killed during police action."
Danish authorities are still looking for more information on Hussein, but details of his seemingly violent past have emerged over the last 24 hours. Police believe Hussein had gang connections, and has committed other violent crimes in the past, including assault with a weapon.
Hussein was also heavily armed, having at least two guns on him when he dies. The Independent reported that a weapon was uncovered at an apartment in Nørrebro, though it's unclear if the apartment police raided belonged to Hussein.
As police continue their search, a memorial for the two victims, a filmmaker and a Jewish security guard, will be held Monday evening in Copenhagen at the cafe where the deadly shooting spree began. French ambassador Zimeray will be one of the attendees, along with French Minister of State for European Affairs Harlem Désir.
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