Authorities in Hamburg have confirmed that they visited the 35-year-old suspect, known only as Phillip F at this stage, who killed seven people at a Jehovah’s Witness Center. Among the deceased was an unborn baby.
Police said they visited Phillip F following a tip-off about his mental state. An anonymous letter sent to the police stated that they had concerns about his “ill feelings” towards the religious community “in particular toward Jehovah’s Witnesses” which he had previously been a part of before leaving “on bad terms”.
Police confirmed that Phillip F co-operated with them during their visit, and he had a license to own his gun for sporting purposes. Police confirmed that they did not have grounds to section Phillip F or to remove his gun.
“The bottom line is that an anonymous tip in which someone says they’re worried a person might have a psychological illness, isn’t in itself a basis for (such) measures,” Chief Meyer said.
Germany’s interior minister announced plans to toughen gun laws in the country following the massacre.
At present, Germany does have stringent gun measures. Anyone under the age of 25 who wants to own a gun for any purposes must undergo a full psychological evaluation.
German Senator Andy Grote praised the police on scene by saying that their “fast and decisive actions” saved many lives. He labeled the mass shooting as the “worst crime” in Hamburg’s recent history.
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