Noah Esbensen: Copenhagen Mall Shooter Tricked People by Saying Gun Was Fake; Posted Videos on YouTube Before Shooting [GRAPHIC]

According to witnesses that were cited by the Danish media, the suspect sought to approach others by pretending that his weapon was a fake.

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The gunman who opened fire inside a busy shopping mall in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Sunday that killed three people and left several injured, tricked eyewitnesses by telling them that the gun he was carrying was not real so that no one suspected him and allowed him to approach, police said. Minutes later he opened fire.

The suspect, identified as Noah Esbensen, 22, was arrested shortly after that. Police are questioning him as the motive behind the shooting remains unclear. Meanwhile, Harry Styles, who was scheduled to perform at a venue near the Copenhagen shopping mall, has canceled his performance following the shooting.

Pure Terror

Esbensen is believed to have been operating alone as police believe that there is no indication anyone else was involved in the attack. However, the scene was nothing less than a terror attack, Copenhagen police inspector Søren Thomassen told reporters.

He said that police received the first reports of a shooting just after 5:30 pm and arrested Esbensen just 11 minutes later, without any resistance. However, by that time the gunman had already killed three people.

Copenhagen mall shooter
The Copenhagen mall shooter seen with his gun shooting people Twitter

According to witnesses that were cited by the Danish media, the suspect sought to approach others by pretending that his weapon was a fake. "He seemed very violent and angry," one eyewitness told TV2. "He spoke to me and said it (the rifle) isn't real as I was filming him. He seemed very proud of what he was doing."

A blurry image of the alleged shooter—a man in knee-length shorts, a vest or sleeveless shirt, and clutching what looked to be a weapon in his right hand—was released by the Danish television station TV2.

"He was sufficiently psychopathic to go and hunt people, but he wasn't running," one witness told DR state television, according to the Associated Press.

As he approached the crowd inside, he opened fire. Even then, many didn't realize that it was a gunman. One witness told Danish media that as the first bullets were fired, more than 100 people began to rush out of the mall.

"We could see that many people suddenly ran towards the exit and then we heard a bang," Thea Schmidt, who was in the mall at the time of the attack told broadcaster TV2. "Then we ran out of Field's too."

Copenhagen Mall Shooting
People rush out of the mall in Copenhagen after Noah Esbensen opened fire Twitter

However, police reached a few minutes later and the suspect was arrested without any incident.

Motive Unclear

In accordance with Danish privacy laws, police have refrained from commenting on the shooter's identity beyond confirming his nationality, ethnicity, and age. However, there are suspicions that the perpetrator is Noah Esbensen, who recently posted a number of videos on YouTube with the title "I don't care" in which he held guns to his head.

Noah Esbensen
The person suspected to be Noah Esbensen posted this YouTube video with a gun before the shooting Twitter

Images from the scene of the shooting show a man matching Esbensen's description sitting in the grass while being watched by armed police. However, another image released on social media showed the suspect being brought away in handcuffs wearing a white hooded top.

A video clicked on a mobile phone inside the mall appears to show the suspect holding a Scandinavian Target Rifle, a popular firearm among Nordic sport shooters that was also shown in Esbensen's YouTube films.

Noah Esbensen
Noah Esbensen being handcuffed and taken away after his arrest Twitter

The Field's Shopping Center where the shooting took place is one of the biggest shopping malls in the Scandinavian region. Harry Styles was scheduled to perform hours later at a venue close to the shopping mall. However, he has now canceled his performance in the aftermath of the shooting.

Former Danish politician and eyewitness Joachim Olsen said he was on his way to a gym inside Field's when he spotted sizable crowds of people leaving the mall.