Denmark on edge as 2nd shooting within hours rocks capital
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- A gunman opened fire on a Copenhagen cultural center, killing one man and wounding three police officers in what authorities called a terror attack against a free speech event featuring an artist who had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad.
After searching for the gunman for hours, police reported another shooting near a synagogue in downtown Copenhagen after midnight Sunday. One person was shot in the head and two police officers were shot in the arms and legs, police said, adding it wasn't clear whether the two incidents were linked. The gunman fled on foot, and police warned people to be vigilant and follow the instructions of officers flooding the city center.
The earlier shooting came a month after extremists killed 12 people at a satirical newspaper in Paris that had sparked Muslim outrage with its depictions of Muhammad.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the first shooting, which took place shortly before 4 p.m. on Saturday. Danish police said the gunman used an automatic weapon to shoot through the windows of the Krudttoenden cultural center, which TV footage showed were riddled with bullet holes. The gunman then fled in a carjacked Volkswagen Polo that was found later a few kilometers (miles) away, police said.
They said the victim was a man about 40 who was inside the cultural center. He has not yet been identified. Two of the wounded officers belonged to the Danish security service PET, which said the circumstances surrounding the shooting "indicate that we are talking about a terror attack."
Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist who has faced numerous death threats for caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad, was one of the main speakers at Saturday's panel discussion, titled "Art, blasphemy and freedom of expression." He was whisked away by his bodyguards unharmed as the shooting began.
Vilks, 68, later told The Associated Press he believed he was the intended target of the shooting.
"What other motive could there be? It's possible it was inspired by Charlie Hebdo," he said, referring to the Jan. 7 attack by Islamic extremists on the French newspaper in Paris. He spoke from an undisclosed location for his own security.