Last Thursday evening in Germany, a gunman broke into Jehovah’s Witnesses’ north Hamburg parish hall during a religious service with fifty attendees and proceeded to open fire.
The shooter fired over one hundred bullets from a handgun, killing six and injuring eight.
Four men and two women, aged 33-60 and all German citizens, were among the dead, and an unborn child. Four of the wounded are in critical condition.
The suspected shooter was later found dead among the others, having committed suicide after his rampage. Hamburg police responded to the first emergency call at 9:04 pm, sending a large contingent of officers, including special forces, to the scene.
The shooter has been identified as Philipp Fusz, a 35-year-old German resident formerly a member of the same congregation.
Authorities had previously received a tip that he should not be in possession of firearms due to mental instability but paid him an unannounced visit and found no cause for concern.
In response to the attack, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called it a “brutal act of violence,” and Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher expressed his deepest sympathy to the victims’ families. The church issued a statement, expressing their grief and offering prayers to everyone involved.
David Semonian, a U.S.-based spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses, conveyed his sorrow to the members of the faith around the world.