Three police officers were wounded and one civilian was killed today at an event at a cafe in Copenhagen titled “Art, blasphemy, and the freedom of expression.” Danish journalist Tinne Hjersing said in a tweet that law enforcement has classified the shooting, which riddled the cafe’s façade with bullet holes, a terrorist attack, similar to the assault on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
According to the Associated Press via ABC News, the event was “organized by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has faced numerous threats for caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad in 2007.”
The TV2 channel said Saturday there were some 30 bullet holes in the window of the Krudttoenden cafe and said at least two people were taken away on stretchers, including a uniformed police officer.
#copenhagen – photo of bullet holes at “Krudttønden”, scene of shooting – HT @MagnusBjerg: pic.twitter.com/Xcl4o7FgLd
— Line Holm (@LineHolm1) February 14, 2015
Helle Merete Brix, another organizer of the event, confirmed to reporters that Vilks was present at the event but not injured, adding that when the artist is in Denmark, he receives police protection. Initial reports indicated there had been no fatalities, but a subsequent tweet by Hjersing noted that a civilian, still unidentified, had succumbed to his injuries.
One person is dead after #cphshooting according to Danish news station @tv2newsdk. Not a police officer but a civilian. #breaking — Tinne Hjersing (@Tinnehjersing) February 14, 2015
A short time ago, police released the first photo of the shooter:
Danish police release first picture of suspect after the #cphshooting. Please RT! @LineHolm1 @KobenhavnPoliti pic.twitter.com/13qbuaMpWQ
— Tinne Hjersing (@Tinnehjersing) February 14, 2015
*UPDATE* Around 8:20 a.m., ET, Sunday, the Associated Press reported that Danish police shot and killed a man suspected of the deadly shooting attacks that ultimately left two dead, one of the victims a member of Denmark’s Jewish community. A total of five police officers were also wounded in the attacks.
Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt is quoted as having said:
Denmark has been hit by terror. 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.
Jens Madsen, head of the Danish intelligence agency PET, was more forthcoming with a motive for the shootings, imputing them to 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 group] and others.