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Swedish officer 'stalled' Copenhagen massacre

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Swedish officer 'stalled' Copenhagen massacre
Bullet holes at the attacked cultural centre in Copenhagen. Photo Michael Probst/TT
10:04 CET+01:00
One of the Swedish police officers who was in Copenhagen to protect the Swedish artist Lars Vilks over the weekend 'interrupted' the attack on a cultural centre by shooting at the gunman, according to claims in the Swedish media.
A police source speaking to the Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan said that there were two police protection officers at the venue to guard Lars Vilks who has had round-the-clock security ever his drawing of the Prophet Muhammad was published in a local Swedish paper in 2007 with an editorial on the importance of freedom of expression.
 
The source said that one of Vilks' defenders shot at the gunman who carried out the attack on a cultural centre that killed a 55-year-old film maker, which took place ahead of a second shooting at a synagogue.
 
"I know that one of them emptied his entire gun," he told the paper, adding that this had "interrupted the attack" and suggesting that this may have prevented further casualties.
 
Neither the Danish police nor police in southern Sweden have confirmed the claims to other Swedish media.
 
"It's no secret that Swedish police were present," Stefan Ray, a press spokesperson for Sweden's police told The Local.
 
"They were there to protect Lars Vilks. But we cannot say who fired or who did what. There is a forensic investigation going on in Denmark that we have to respect."
 
 
"I want to say this: they performed admirably and we are proud of how they acted in this very difficult situation," Jarl Holmström, Deputy Regional Director for Skåne police, told Sydsvenskan.
 
The gunman, suspected to be 22-year-old Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, was shot to death by police following the second attack.
 
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