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Police kill alleged Copenhagen gunman who killed two, injured five

By Andrew V. Pestano
Police kill alleged Copenhagen gunman who killed two, injured five
A photo of the suspect in the Copenhagen shootings. Photo courtesy Copenhagen police

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Police have shot dead the alleged gunman who killed one person at a free speech event and later killed a Jewish man near a synagogue in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Saturday.

Copenhagen police shot the man after he opened fire on Sunday, according to police. Five police officers were injured in the attacks

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Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks may have been an attempted target. In 2007, Vilks stirred controversy with his depiction of Muhammad as a dog. He has lived under police protection for death threats since 2010.

Film director Finn Norgaard, 55, died in the first attack. Authorities said at least 40 shots were fired outside the venue hosting a debate about free speech titled "Art, blasphemy and freedom." Vilks and French diplomat Francois Zimeray, who was speaking at the event, were not injured.

In a second attack, Dan Uzan, 37, was killed. He had been working as security for a bat mitzvah inside a synagogue.

Denmark's chief rabbi Jair Melchior said Uzan was "irreplaceable."

"He was a person who was always willing to help," he said. "An amazing, amazing guy."

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Police believe the same gunman was behind both attacks.

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt called the shootings "a cynical act of terror against Denmark."

The gunman previously caught the attention of Danish intelligence as police were investigating whether he traveled to Syria or Iraq. The head of Danish intelligence said the gunman may have been inspired by the terrorist attack in Paris last month.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve is set to visit Copenhagen on Sunday.

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