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Culture > News

7 dead following shooting in Jehovah’s Witness Hall in Hamburg

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bristol chapter.

7 people have died, with 25 injured and 8 seriously wounded after a shooting at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witness in Hamburg, Germany. 

There were about 4 bursts of gunfire – several shots were fired in each burst – with gaps lasting roughly 20 seconds to a minute”

23-year old student Laura Bauch

The shooting began around 9 pm on Thursday night. “There were about 4 bursts of gunfire – several shots were fired in each burst – with gaps lasting roughly 20 seconds to a minute”, claims 23-year-old student Lara Bauch, who lives near the meeting hall.

The suspect, identified only as 35-year-old Phillip F., was a German citizen and former Jehovah’s Witness who took his own life after the attack. 

The gunman, a licensed gun owner and sports shooter, was known to the police – officials had visited him following an anonymous tip-off that raised concern about his mental state. Representatives of the police force claim that this visit did not provide sufficient grounds to confiscate any firearm.

The Mayor of Hamburg, Peter Tschentcher took to Twitter to express his condolences. “My deepest condolences go to the families of the victims. I wish strength to all those who witnessed these terrible events and a speedy recovery for the injured.” the mayor wrote on Friday.

The Jehovah’s Witness movement emerged in the US towards the end of the 19th century and is best known for its door-to-door Christian evangelism. Its population in Hamburg is believed to have reached nearly 4000.

A statement issued by the Jehovah’s Witness community in Germany claimed they were “deeply saddened by the horrific attack on its members at the Kingdom Hall in Hamburg after a religious service”.

Whilst the motive of the perpetrator remains unclear, this attack is one of several mass shootings in Germany in recent years, and is expected to accelerate the German authorities’ plans to further tighten gun restriction laws.

I am a Politics and Spanish student at the University of Bristol with a special interest in International Politics, women’s issues and decolonialism.