Hamburg city hall and downtown

Deadly mass Jehovah’s Witness shooting in Germany

Six people, including an unborn child, were killed and eight wounded after a gunman opened fire at a Jehovah’s Witnesses center in Hamburg, Germany, before apparently turning the gun on himself as police stormed the building.

Shooter kills six at Jehovah’s Witness center in Germany

A gunman, whom police identified as a former member of a congregation at a Jehovah’s Witnesses hall in the German city of Hamburg, opened fire on the congregation, killing six, including an unborn child, and wounding eight others.

Among the eight wounded was a mother who was initially reported among the dead. She survived – but her unborn child did not.

All of the six victims who died in the attack were said to be German nationals between the ages of 33 and 60. Four were men, and two were women, according to Hamburg police chief Matthias Tresp, CNN reported.

Among the eight injured, one was from Uganda and one from Ukraine. Police say none of the shooting victims were related to the perpetrator.

Reportedly, residents in Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city, were stunned after hearing about the report.

“Hamburg has never seen a mass shooting like this,” said Interior Minister Andy Grote during a press conference.

Video captures shooting, suspect used semi-automatic pistol

BBC posted a video that shows the gunman apparently scaling an outside wall, withdrawing a handgun, then opening fire into the hall.

Authorities say that the suspect had been in legal possession of a semi-automatic pistol since December 2022 and that during the attack, the gunman fired nine magazines of ammunition.

Who is the shooter, and what was the motive?

By the time police breached the building, the shooter had allegedly already turned the gun on himself and died by suicide, CBS News reported.

According to a Hamburg security official, the suspect left the Jehovah’s Witnesses community about 18 months ago, “apparently not on good terms.”

Due to German privacy laws, the last name of the suspect was not revealed, but a Hamburg security official named the shooter as a 35-year-old German national identified only as Philipp F.

Officials say the gunman allegedly had “ill feelings” towards the particular religious community and acted alone in the attack. His motives are currently unknown, BBC reported.

Authorities say while the motive is yet unknown, there was no indication of the political motive and “no indication of a terrorist background” in the attack. However, authorities speculated that it was possible that the suspect suffered from mental illness.