1 dead, 1 injured in Danish courthouse shooting

By Jan M. Olsen, Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 16, 2014 at 9:03 a.m.


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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A 67-year-old gunman opened fire in a Copenhagen courthouse Tuesday, killing a lawyer and seriously wounding the father of his 3-year-old grandchild in connection with a custody dispute, authorities said.

The victims were a 57-year-old lawyer and his client, a 31-year-old man who was in a custody battle with the gunman's daughter, police and court officials said.

The gunman was arrested nearby and police seized a rifle used in the shooting, officials said.

"It is a family tragedy, not an attack on the court or the legal system," said Soeren Axelsen, head of the Copenhagen City Court.

Authorities didn't release any names. The shooting happened in the Bailiff's court, which is part of the city court.

Initial reports suggested one of the victims was shot inside the building and another outside, but Axelsen later said both were shot inside the Bailiff's court. The child's father then staggered outside where he collapsed.

He was taken to a hospital with serious wounds, but his condition wasn't life-threatening, police said.

The lawyer was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police cordoned off several streets around the building, which is next to City Hall.

The Ekstra Bladet tabloid posted a photo on its website showing a police officer aiming a weapon at a person on his knees, saying it showed the suspect being arrested.

Axelsen said he believed it was the first shooting ever at the Copenhagen City Court, which was established in 1771.

Security is normally lax in Danish courts except for court sessions related to terrorism, criminal gangs and high-security cases where everyone but lawyers and judges must walk through metal detectors.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Jan M. Olsen

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