A week after the most serious crime in Hamburg's recent history, with seven people murdered in a community of Jehovah's Witnesses in Alsterdorf, the police are also looking for possible accomplices. There are surveys in the vicinity of the perpetrator Philipp F., said police spokeswoman Sandra Levgrün on Thursday of the German Press Agency in Hamburg.
“Basically, these surveys are there to get a complete picture of Philipp F. The aim is to answer the question of why for the victims and their relatives. But of course we also look to see if there is someone there who is jointly responsible under criminal law.” Members of the Hamburg shooting club, of which the shooter was a member, are also to be questioned. Several media had previously reported.
For the police and the public prosecutor's office in the Hanseatic city, the search for possible accomplices is also a means of being able to continue to be active in the case. Because dead people cannot be investigated. Part of the investigation is currently where Philipp F. got the large number of magazines for his gun. 60 magazines were found on Thursday last week at the 35-year-old. He is said to have fired 135 shots in his act. The shooter had published a book a few weeks before the crime. The investigations are also ongoing.
"The large number of interrogations are now continuing," said police spokeswoman Levgrün. However, surveying community members is not easy. "It's difficult, you have to say that. It's definitely a closed circle," said Levgrün. Jehovah's Witnesses have a policy of not talking about other people. "Above all, don't talk bad about other people. That turns out to be difficult.”
It was initially unclear to what extent this was to be regarded as an obstacle to the investigation. If really relevant facts were withheld, that could definitely be an issue, said Levgrün. But it's not that far yet.
Investigations in the case currently also include internal processing in the weapons authority. "Of course we have to look at that in order to be able to draw conclusions from possible errors." Most recently, the weapons authority was accused of not having looked intensively enough for a book written by Philipp F. when researching online about the later gunman.
In the book, the 35-year-old expressed, among other things, confused religious theses in connection with the Holocaust. An anonymous whistleblower drew attention to a possible mental illness and danger of the 35-year-old two months before the crime and cited the book as evidence.
In fact, the German killed seven people in the north of Hamburg - including an unborn child - with shots from a semi-automatic pistol and then killed himself. Nine other people were injured.
There will be an ecumenical memorial service for the victims on Sunday in the main church of St. Petri in downtown Hamburg. The commemoration is about "giving space to grief, giving comfort and care," said the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany and the Archdiocese of Hamburg on Wednesday, who are organizing the event together with the Working Group of Christian Churches. In addition to the victims and their relatives, the intercessions should also include good wishes for the rescuers and first aiders.
The Jehovah's Witnesses, on the other hand, want to organize their own funeral service. According to a spokesman, they were irritated by the push of the big churches.