A shooting at a Jehovah’s Witness hall in Hamburg, Germany has left six people dead and several others wounded, according to local media reports. The incident happened during a regular Sunday service at the center. Police arrived at the scene and immediately cordoned off the area as they searched for the perpetrator. Witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots before the attacker fled the scene on foot. The motive for the shooting is currently unknown, but police are treating it as a possible hate crime.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have been targeted in the past in Germany, where they are often viewed as a controversial religious group. The organization is known for its door-to-door evangelism and refusal to participate in military service or blood transfusions. Despite facing persecution under the Nazis during World War II, the group has continued to thrive in Germany, with over 166,000 members today.
The shooting has shocked the local community and prompted condolences from politicians and religious leaders. Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her condolences to the families of the victims and condemned the attack as a “barbaric act.” The Hamburg local government has declared a day of mourning in honor of the victims.
The incident has once again highlighted the issue of gun violence in Germany, which has stricter gun laws than the United States but still sees occasional mass shootings. Lawmakers are likely to face renewed calls for tighter gun control measures and better enforcement of existing laws.