The unborn baby of a woman who was seven months pregnant was among those killed during a mass shooting at a Jehovah’s Witness building in the German city of Hamburg.
Police identified the gunman was Philipp F., a 35-year-old German with no prior offences who had been a member of the congregation – but had left 18 months ago with “ill feelings”.
They also revealed an anonymous letter had been sent to officers in January saying the attacker should not be allowed to have weapons and that he might be suffering from a mental illness.
At a news conference, Hamburg’s interior minister Andy Grote said the lone gunman in the attack ran to the floor above where it took place when police arrived and took his own life.
Eight people died in the incident, including the attacker. The victims were four men, two women and the unborn baby.
Eight people were injured, four of them seriously.
There had been 50 people in the congregation at the time.
Police also said that before the attacker went into the building, he had shot 10 times at a woman in a car outside in the carpark – but she managed to get away.
Mr Grote called it an “horrific crime”.
He said it was “something we’ve not experienced in the past – we see it on TV, we see it elsewhere, we’ve never seen it happen in our city”.
Police were alerted at 9.03pm local time on Thursday to the attack at the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Kingdom Hall in the Gross Borstel district of Germany’s second largest city.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, a former Hamburg mayor, described the shooting as “a brutal act of violence”.