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Danish police charge man for entering supermarket with loaded shotgun

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Danish police charge man for entering supermarket with loaded shotgun
A 19-year-old man faces trial in Denmark for entering a supermarket with a loaded shotgun. Illustration photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

A man has been charged by Denmark’s police prosecution service after he entered a supermarket carrying a loaded shotgun among several other weapons.

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The incident took place in a Rema 1000 supermarket in the town of Hareskovby in northern Zealand in August last year and has been kept secret from the public until now, with court proceedings taking place behind closed doors.

In addition to the firearm, the 19-year-old man was also carrying an axe, five knives and a baseball bat.

The prosecution is charging the man for breaking laws related to firearms possession under aggravated circumstances. It is unclear how the 19-year-old will plead.

Newspaper BT reported last autumn that police suspected the man of intending to commit a mass shooting, but this has never been confirmed.

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The supermarket is located close to a former residence of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, who lived there at the time of the incident and used the supermarket on a number of occasions. Police previously told BT they do not believe Frederiksen was a target.

According to the charge sheet presented on Tuesday, the man is currently admitted to a psychiatric ward. The prosecution is not seeking a prison sentence in the case but is demanding he be brought to a secure psychiatric facility for up to five years.

Danish law does not permit custodial sentences to be given to persons who are deemed "unaccountable due to a mental illness" (Danish: utilregnelig på grund af singssygdom) at the time the offence was committed.

The incident in the Rema 1000 store took place less than two months after a mass shooting in the Field’s shopping mall in Copenhagen which resulted in three deaths. The Field’s shooter was recently sentenced to indefinite detention, with his mental state both during and after the event a factor in the sentence.

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