A shooting at a Jehovah’s Witnesses building in the Alsterdorf district of Hamburg has left multiple people dead and others injured. The incident occurred around 9 p.m. local time during a Jehovah’s Witnesses event.
The number of casualties has not been officially confirmed, but an on-site reporter from the German broadcaster ARD has reported at least six fatalities. Eight additional individuals are said to have been injured.
According to Hamburg police, the shooter is “possibly” dead, and authorities are searching for others involved in the incident. The police are classifying the shooting as an act of rampage.
Police entered the building shortly after the shooting and found several dead and injured individuals. They later heard a shot “from the upper part of the object” and discovered a body in the upper floor of the building, which they believe may be that of the shooter.
Authorities have yet to release any information about the motives behind the shooting, and they are currently investigating the incident.
A neighbor who witnessed the shooting reported hearing multiple shots at the Jehovah’s Witnesses event. “There were about four shooting periods. In these periods, several shots were fired about 20 seconds to a minute apart,” said student Lara Bauch. “Later, people were carried out of the building by police officers, with their hands and feet tied.”
In response to the incident, Hamburg police have deployed a large number of officers, including special forces, to secure the area and ensure the safety of nearby residents. The Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz issued an official warning to the public about the “extreme danger” in the area surrounding the Jehovah’s Witnesses building.
Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher expressed his condolences to the victims’ families and praised the emergency responders who worked to secure the area and investigate the incident. “The reports from Alsterdorf/Groß Borstel are shocking,” he tweeted. “My deepest sympathies go out to the victims’ families. The emergency responders are working tirelessly to track down the perpetrators and determine the motives behind this heinous act.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses is a Christian community with its own interpretation of the Bible. The group’s members believe in Jehovah as the almighty God and creator and follow strict regulations. They believe that a new world is coming and that they are the chosen community who will be saved. The group has around eight million members worldwide, with a central headquarters in New York. The German community, with less than 200,000 members, is among the largest in Europe.
The incident in Hamburg is a tragedy, and the authorities will work to bring the perpetrators to justice and support the victims and their families during this difficult time.