At least one gunman opened fire Saturday on a Copenhagen cafe, killing one man in what authorities called a likely terror attack during a free speech event organized by an artist who had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad.
The shooting, which also wounded three police officers, came a month after extremists killed 12 people at a satirical newspaper in Paris that had also sparked Muslim outrage with its depictions of Muhammad.
Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has been repeatedly threatened after depicting Muhammad as a dog in 2007, organized and attended Saturday’s event but was not hit by gunfire, police said.
“I saw a masked man running past,” said Helle Merete Brix, one of the event’s organizers. “I clearly consider this as an attack on Lars Vilks.”
She and Vilks were quickly ushered away by the security detail that accompanies the artist whenever he is in Denmark.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting, which took place shortly before 4 p.m. (1500 GMT, 10 a.m. EST). Denmark’s security service, PET, said the circumstances surrounding the shooting “indicate that we are talking about a terror attack.”
Danish police said the gunman used an automatic weapon to shoot through the windows of the Krudttoenden cafe, 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.
“I heard someone firing with an automatic weapons and someone shouting. Police returned the fire and I hid behind the bar. I felt surreal, like in a movie,” Niels Ivar Larsen, one of the speakers at the event, told the TV2 channel….
Francois Zimeray, the French ambassador to Denmark who was at the event to speak about the Charlie Hebdo attack, tweeted that he was “still alive.” Police said he was not wounded….
By Associated Press, Jan Olsen, Karl Ritter, & Thomas Adamson –