7 dead in Germany church shooting


At least seven people were killed and eight others injured during a shooting at a Jehovah’s Witness church in the German city of Hamburg, local media reported on Friday.

Earlier media reports said the shooting, which occurred around 9 p.m. on Thursday night, killed six people.

But one more body was found on the upper part of the building later, Xinhua news agency reported citing the German newspaper Bild as saying.

Police have said that a gunman is believed to be dead, but it remains unclear if the attacker is among seven fatalities, the newspaper added.

There was also no evidence of a fleeing perpetrator, according to the police. Hamburg’s Mayor Peter Tschentscher expressed his condolences to the victims’ families.

Police were working flat out to pursue the perpetrators and clarify the background, he said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the city’s Interior Minister Andy Grote said on Twitter that police special forces and a large number of officers had been deployed to the scene.

The church is located in the city’s Gross Borstel district, about 289 km from Berlin.

A motive for the shooting is yet to be established and police have appealed to the public not to share assumptions or to spread rumors, the BBC reported.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are members of a Christian-based religious movement.

The denomination was founded in the US towards the end of the 19th century, under the leadership of Charles Taze Russell. The headquarters of the movement is in New York.


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