German information outlet Der Spiegel reported that the gunman is believed to have been a former member of the U.S.-headquartered religion group that claims 8.7 million adherents in its congregations, generally known as Kingdom Halls, worldwide. The group claims about 170,000 members in Germany.
The corridor focused Thursday night time is positioned in a residential space in northern Hamburg, Germany’s second-most populous metropolis.
In a tweet, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz — who till 2018 served as mayor of Hamburg — mentioned the lifeless and injured had fallen “sufferer to a brutal act of violence final night time. My ideas are with them and their kin.”
Condolences additionally poured in from overseas, together with from French President Emmanuel Macron.
In a press release, the German Jehovah’s Witnesses group mentioned that “our deepest sympathy goes to the households of the victims and the traumatized eyewitnesses. The native ministers are doing their finest to assist them on this troublesome hour.”
Authorities mentioned they might launch additional particulars in a information convention in a while Friday, as they appealed to eyewitnesses to ship footage of the taking pictures to a safe web site.
A close-by resident, Lara Bauch, mentioned she heard 4 rounds of gunfire Thursday night time. In every of them, pictures have been fired “at intervals of 20 seconds to a minute,” she advised German information company dpa.
One other eyewitness, Gregor Miesbach, advised German tv information company NonstopNews that he heard over 25 pictures and noticed an individual enter the constructing via a window, earlier than opening hearth inside.
Cops discovered a number of individuals lifeless and others injured by bullets once they arrived on the constructing round 9:15 p.m. native time, Hamburg police spokesman Holger Vehren mentioned in an on-camera interview from the scene Thursday night time.
“The lifeless all have gunshot wounds,” a police spokesman advised Northern German Broadcasting, the native public radio and tv broadcaster.
After arriving on the crime scene, police heard a final gunshot from throughout the Jehovah’s Witness constructing and located a physique once they adopted the sound, Vehren mentioned.
Maham Javaid, Amar Nadhir and Kate Brady contributed to this report.