Police: Copenhagen Gunman Had Criminal Record, Gang Background
The gunman killed by Copenhagen police after deadly shootings at a free speech event and outside a synagogue had a background in criminal gangs, according to authorities.
Copenhagen police said the 22-year-old man - whose name has not been released - was born in Denmark and had a criminal record, including violence and weapons offenses.
Police believe the suspect carried out both shootings alone but are investigating if he received help from others or if he traveled to Iraq or Syria.
A film director and a synagogue guard were killed in separate attacks, and five police officers were also injured.
Amy Kellogg reported on "America's News Headquarters" that the suspect was tracked thanks to CCTV footage and help from the public.
Kellogg said that authorities believe he may have been inspired by ISIS and the recent terror attacks in Paris.
"The similarities between the attacks in Paris and in Copenhagen are that Jews, those who make cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad and police were targeted," Kellogg said.
"Denmark has been hit by terror," Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said Sunday. "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, said investigators believe the gunman was inspired by 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," Madsen said.
At a news conference Madsen also said the gunman had been on the agency's "radar."
Later Sunday, at least two people with handcuffs were taken out by police from an Internet cafe in Copenhagen, Danish media reported. Police spokesman Steen Hansen told The Associated Press that "the action was part of the police investigation" but declined to give further details.
Denmark’s Jewish Community identified the victim of the attack at the synagogue as 37-year-old Jewish man Dan Uzan. He was guarding the building during a bar mitzvah when he was shot in the head. He later died from the injuries sustained in the attack.
The first shooting occurred Saturday evening at 4 p.m. Police said a gunman used an automatic weapon and shot through the windows of the Krudttoenden cultural center during a discussion on freedom of expression which featured controversial Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks. Vilks had been threatened previously about his caricatures featuring the Prophet Muhammad.
Three officers were injured in the attack, but a 55-year-old man died from the injuries he sustained, authorities said.
The Danish Film Institute said Sunday the man killed was documentary filmmaker Finn Noergaard.
Investigator Joergen Skov said the shooter was confronted by police as he returned to an address that authorities were keeping under surveillance. A blurred image was released of his face earlier Saturday.
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