A meeting inside a Copenhagen cafe Saturday where people were gathered to talk about whether free speech and Islam incite violence was interrupted by more than two dozen gunshots in what’s being called a “terrorist attack” by the French ambassador to Denmark, who was attending the meeting at the time of the shooting.
One person was killed and three officers were injured before Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein then made his way to a Jewish synagogue, where he opened fire again, killing one more civilian and injuring three additional police officers. Authorities believe that el-Hussein acted alone. He had a prior violent criminal history and was fatally shot by police officers during the attack.
Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt called the incident “a cynical act of terror against Denmark.”
A motive for the shootings is not known at this time, but Thorning-Schmidt believes it was a rebuke against freedom of speech.
However, the shooting didn’t stop the meeting from proceeding.
Helle Merete Brix, a writer who attended the meeting, said the people reacted very calmly to the shooting, and since they could not leave anyway while the investigation was underway, they simply continued their discussion.