COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Danish police on Thursday shot and critically wounded a 25-year-old man accused of shooting two officers and a bystander during a drug raid in a Copenhagen neighborhood known for its independent streak and thriving hashish trade.
Police identified the suspect as a Danish citizen born in Bosnia-Herzegovina who sympathized with Islamic extremists, though that wasn’t believed to have played any role in the shooting.
He opened fire late Thursday when plainclothes officers tried to arrest him in Christiania, a drug-rife former squatter colony created in the 1970s when hippies occupied some abandoned navy barracks, police said.
In a statement, police said he “apparently” has sympathies for the Islamic State group and links to Millatu Ibrahim, a Salafist group that is outlawed in Germany, but “there is currently no evidence that this has influenced the shooting incidents at Christiania.”
Police spokesman Joergen Skov earlier said the suspect shot one officer in the head, a second in the thigh and a bystander in the leg before escaping. Their conditions were unclear.
Police tracked down the suspect several hours later 5 kilometers (3 miles) to the south in Kastrup near the airport and shot him early Thursday. He was hospitalized in critical condition.
Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen called the shooting of police officers “despicable” and “disgusting.”
The suspect was not able to appear before a pre-trial hearing Thursday but the court decided he should be kept under formal arrest until he is fit enough to face a hearing. He was held on preliminary charges of three murder attempts, organized hashish sale and illegal weapons possession.
Danish authorities aren’t as forgiving as they once were toward Christiania’s hashish trade, valued at an estimated at 1 billion kroner ($150 million) a year. But while police regularly conduct raids in the area, shootouts with suspects are rare.
“An incident like this gives reason for contemplation,” Skov said. “Have things become so rough now that this is what we face when our colleagues do their job?”
In February 2015 police shot and killed a 22-year-old gunman who had opened fire at a free speech seminar and a synagogue in Copenhagen, killing two people and wounding five police officers.