Grimhøj Mosque, a place of worship for Muslims in Aarhus that had hitherto a strained relationship with the authorities, yesterday alerted the police to a man who left its premises armed with a knife.
In an ensuing confrontation in the Aarhus municipality of Brabrand, the man lashed out at a male and female police officer with his knife, before they were forced to open fire and shot him. Initially in a critical condition in hospital, he is now reported to be out of danger.
The head of the mosque, Osama El-Saadi, told DR that the man had never been seen before. He was asked to leave his knife at the entrance, but retrieved it when he left.
Initially reluctant to shoot
A construction worker named Jimmy Skov witnessed the incident, which was partly filmed, near the mosque at approximately 13:00 on Karen Blixens Boulevard.
“He shouted something foreign in a language that I did not understand. The police drew their guns and shouted at him to throw down his knife. But he did not react,” Skov told DR.
“He then walked towards one of the officers and lunged.”
According to Skov, the officer managed to evade the assailant, but neither he nor the other officer fired a shot. But then the man tried to stab them again.
“He went for the same officer again. The officer evaded him again and fired a shot at him. But it did not stop him. He came one or two times more as they continued shooting at him.”
The man then exhibited some erratic behaviour: some kneeling, apparent introspection, staggering and further attempts to stab the officers.
It is also reported that he might have raised a finger in the air – a sign associated with Islamic State.
Station closed due to explosives threat
In another incident yesterday, Brønderslev Station in north Jutland was closed to the public after the police summoned explosives experts to search the scene.
It would appear there might have been a genuine threat, as two men aged 27 and 32 have been arrested and charged with violating weapon laws.
It is believed the men might have been seen breaking into a locker at the station where some firearms were being stored.
Another shooting in Nordvest
Completing a busier than normal Monday for the country’s police force was another shooting in the Nordvest district of Copenhagen – at around 19:00 on Hejrevej, which is two blocks away from Nørrebro Station.
Police cordoned off the area and then began a search for eye-witnesses. The victim is said to be in a critical condition.