It was supposed to be a magical night and a farewell to living with corona restrictions.
But Sunday evening in Copenhagen became a true nightmare for Nuveen Kamal, 15, and her friend.
They were going to attend a concert by British pop star Harry Styles at the Royal Arena in the Danish capital, along with thousands of others. Many, just like Nuveen, had travelled a long way for the eagerly-awaited event and decided to get something to eat before the former One Direction star took to the stage.
They chose to visit the nearby shopping centre, Fields, Denmark´s second largest shopping mall, a few miles south of central Copenhagen. Afterwards, the girls wanted to go shopping.
As they stepped out of one shop, Nuveen and her friend heard screams coming from several directions:
“At first, I thought it was Harry Styles who was in here. Then I turned around and I saw a man with a long rifle in his hand. And then we just ran,” said Nuveen.
Suddenly, a day which was meant to be memorable for joyous reasons had turned into one which was a matter of life and death.
The mall was being attacked by a 22-year-old Danish male. In a deadly rampage, the man, whose name has still not been released, was to kill three people, two 17-year-olds and a 47-year-old man. Seven others suffered gunshot wounds, four seriously, including a 16-year-old girl. Twenty people received other injuries fleeing the scene.
The incident has shocked Denmark, which has largely escaped such incidents until now. The last major shooting incident was 2015.
Sunday’s Styles’ concert was the end of a festive week in the country, which had seen it host the first three stages of the Tour de France race, with hundreds of thousands of cheering Danes took to the streets across the country.
Danish gun laws are strict and all firearms, with the exception of some hunting rifles, require a licence issued by the police. The gunman did not have such a licence.
Police have ruled that the incident was not an act of terror and instead, the gunman, was ordered on Monday to be held in a closed psychiatric ward. Officers said the victims had been randomly targeted.
Nuveen was all too aware on Monday that she could have been on the official tally.
She told on Monday of how she, her friend and frantically ran away from the noise of gunshots.
“We run down some stairs in the back of a store, while we could hear shots, and then we reached a glass door, which is locked. We panic. We cannot run back again. It was a scary moment,” said Nuveen.
Copenhagen Police received the first report of the shooting at 17.35 on Sunday evening.
Nuveen told The Independent she does not remember much after her friend managed to break the locked door open and they were able to escape from the shopping centre and into a large crowd of people anxiously waiting outside.
“I slept next to my mum last night. And I had a hard time falling asleep,” she said.
“I’m still very much in shock and I do not know how to deal with all of this. I am very confused right now.”