German gunman kills 6 at Hamburg Jehovah’s Witnesses hall

A gunman stormed a service at his former Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Hamburg, killing six people before taking his own life after police arrived, authorities in the German port city said Friday.
Police gave no motive for Thursday night’s attack. But they acknowledged recently receiving an anonymous tip that claimed the man showed anger toward religious groups and might be psychologically unfit to own a gun, AP reported.
Police said an unborn baby also died but didn’t say whether the mother was among the dead. Eight people were wounded, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the death toll could rise.
Scholz, a former Hamburg mayor, lamented the “terrible incident in my home city.”
“We are speechless in view of this violence,” Scholz said at an event in Munich. “We are mourning those whose lives were taken so brutally.”
All of the victims were German citizens apart from two wounded women, one with Ugandan citizenship and one with Ukrainian.
Officials said the gunman was a 35-year-old German national identified only as Philipp F., in line with the country’s privacy rules. Police said the suspect had left the congregation “voluntarily, but apparently not on good terms,” about a year and a half ago.
Germany’s gun laws are more restrictive than those in the United States, but permissive compared with some European neighbors, and shootings are not unheard of.
Last year, an 18-year-old man opened fire in a packed lecture at Heidelberg University, killing one person and wounding three others before killing himself. In January 2020, a man shot dead six people including his parents in southwestern Germany, while a month later, a shooter who posted a racist rant online killed nine people near Frankfurt.

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