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Germany shooting: ‘Former Jehovah’s Witness’ named as Bible study massacre gunman

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Terrifying moment ‘former Jehovah’s Witness’ opens fire through the window into German Bible study meeting then storms the building, killing seven before he is also found dead by police

  • Eight people were shot dead last night at the the ‘Kingdom Hall’ building
  • Bild reports the perpetrator was 35-year-old former member Phillip F

This is the terrifying moment a gunman fired bullets through the window of a Jehovah’s Witnesses church in Hamburg last night in a shooting that left eight people dead and others seriously injured.

Phillip F., 35, a former member of the religious community, was allegedly responsible for the deadly attack that also injured several other people, some seriously, according to German tabloid Bild.

In grainy footage, recorded from a distance, the man appears to walk up to a window of the church and fire off several shots into the ‘Kingdom Hall’ building from what has been reported to be a pistol – before storming into the building.

The news outlet reported that Phillip F. was an employee of a business centre. Police have said the perpetrator was found among the dead after armed officers rushed into the church last night. Officials have said he acted alone.

It is understood that the victims attended a bible study meeting at the Jehovah’s Witnesses church that began at 7pm local time. Reports said the attack started two hours later, at 9pm, with police responding 15 minutes later. 

Phillip F., 35, (pictured) a former member of the religious community, was allegedly responsible for the deadly attack that also injured several other people, some seriously, according to German tabloid Bild

Phillip F., 35, (pictured) a former member of the religious community, was allegedly responsible for the deadly attack that also injured several other people, some seriously, according to German tabloid Bild

Footage (pictured) has emerged of the gunman firing bullets through the window of the church

The grainy video recorded from a distance appears to show the man walking up to a window of the church and firing off several shots into the building from what has been reported to be a pistol

Footage (pictured) has emerged of the gunman firing bullets through the window of the church. The grainy video recorded from a distance appears to show the man walking up to a window of the church and firing off several shots into the building from what has been reported to be a pistol

The person could be seen in the clop standing at a window holding an object out in front of him, from which flashes could be seen.

The sound of shots can also be heard in the video, also obtained by MailOnline, echoing across the built-up area.

In one of several bursts of gunfire, 15 continuous shots are heard ringing out as the purported gunman deliberately fires into the building.

The footage was taken at night from dozens of yards away – across a road and a car park – so the man is lost from view when he appears to enter the building.

‘We heard shots,’ one unidentified witness told reporters. ‘There were 12 continuous shots,’ he said. ‘Then we saw how people were taken away in black bags.’The footage suggests there were many more than 12 shots fired by the gunman.

A large emergency response quickly descended on the building. In later footage, armed police were seen storming the church and working their way upstairs while pointing their guns up a stairwell.

Pictured: Armed German police officers storm the church on Thursday night

Pictured: Armed German police officers storm the church on Thursday night

Pictured: People are evacuated from the church after shots were fired at the building last night

Pictured: People are evacuated from the church after shots were fired at the building last night

The first officers at the scene found several lifeless bodies and seriously wounded people, police said. 

Officers heard a shot in the ‘upper part of the building’ before finding a body in the area where it rang out, police said. Officers have ‘indications that a perpetrator may have been in the building and may be even among the dead.’

According to German magazine Spiegel, the suspect was a former member of the congregation that had gathered for a Bible study meeting at the centre on Thursday, in the city’s the GroßBorstel district. 

Citing his website, Bild said Phillip F.  grew up in Kempten in the Allgäu region in a strictly religious family. After he left high school, he trained as a bank clerk, it said.

He settled in Hamburg after studying business administration and after living abroad on a number of occasions. On his website, he says he is ‘multicultural’ and ‘a self-confessed European’, the tabloid added.

This is a breaking news story. More to follow…

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