There was no indication that the attack was an act of terrorism, Chief Police Inspector Soren Thomassen said at a news conference early Monday. The suspect had a history of psychiatric issues, he said, but he did not elaborate.
A 47-year-old man and a boy and girl, both 17, were killed in the shooting, according to law enforcement.
Four other people were shot, including two Danish women, 19 and 40 years old, and two Swedish citizens, a man, 50, and a girl, 16. The four were in “serious condition” at a hospital, Thomassen said. Copenhagen police later said that 20 people sustained minor injuries during the chaos that followed the shooting and that “three more were treated for possible stray shots” before being taken home.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen described the shooting in a statement as a “cruel attack.” She offered her sympathy to the victims, their families and “to all the Danes who have been close to the eerie events.”
The attack was a shock for many Danes, as mass shootings are rare in Denmark and other Scandinavian countries, which have strict firearms laws.
The streets of Copenhagen were “eerily silent” in the aftermath of the shooting, said Teresa Dang, an American working there.
Dang used to live in the neighborhood near the mall, which she called a “very nice and family-oriented place.” It was “horrifying” that the incident occurred at a place frequented by families with children, she said.
Police normally stationed outside a Chabad house near her current apartment, in another part of the city, have been replaced with heavily armed personnel in camouflage uniforms, she said.
“We have all been brutally torn out of the bright summer we had just begun,” Frederiksen said. “It is incomprehensible. Heartbreaking. Pointless.”
Copenhagen hosted opening events over the weekend for the Tour de France, whose organizers said in a statement they were “extremely shocked and saddened to hear of what has happened in Copenhagen. The people of Copenhagen had given the peloton one of the greatest welcomes in the sport’s history.”
British singer Harry Styles canceled a Sunday night concert near Field’s.
Copenhagen’s Nordic neighbor, Oslo, is also reeling from a shooting, which occurred last month at a gay club and left two people dead and 10 seriously injured.
Lea Gnädinger, a German woman living in Copenhagen, said that “something like this doesn’t often happen in Europe. And no one expected it to happen in Copenhagen — one of the safest cities around.”