Who Are Jehovah's Witnesses? 7 Killed in Mass Shooting at Church in Hamburg, Germany

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At least seven people were killed in a gun attack at a church in Germany's Hamburg late on Thursday. The deadly mass shooting took place at a Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall in Hamburg's Gross Borstel district.

"The dead all have gunshot wounds," the police said, according to DW. The investigators were not able to release much information about the incident. The police believe the shooter is among the dead and that they don't think any attacker is on the run. The possibility of multiple gunmen being involved in the attack has been ruled out. As of now, the investigators were not able to assign a motive for the horrible attack.

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Representational - Police officers are pictured at the entrance of an appartment building following a shooting rampage at a shopping mall in Munich Reuters

Identity of the Gunman Not Known

According to police spokesman Holger Vehren, the police team arrived at the scene to find several people lying dead on the ground floor, after having received gunshot wounds. They then heard a single gun shot from an upper floor, where they found a man with fatal injuries. According to the investigators, this man is presumed to be the attacker. The police did not reveal the identity of the gunman.

"The officers also heard a shot from the upper part of the building and went upstairs, where they also found a person. So far we have no indications that any perpetrators fled .. All we know is that several people have died here, several people have been injured, they have been taken to hospitals," Vehren added, according to the outlet.

People in the vicinity said they heard multiple gunshots ringing out from the premises. "There were about four periods of shooting ... There were always several shots in these periods, roughly at intervals of 20 seconds to a minute," a student who lives nearby told DPA news agency.

Who Are Jehovah's Witnesses?

Jehovah's Witnesses is a religious outfit that was founded in the nineteenth century in the United States. The religious movement is vaguely an offshoot of Christianity but it drastically differs with most tenets of religious teaching followed in other Christian denominations.

It is believed that the International Bible Students Association, which was founded by Charles Taze Russell in the United States was the forerunner of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

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Representational REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Although the outfit is Christian-based, it negates the traditional Christian Churches, saying that they all deviated from the true teachings of the Bible. The witnesses are known for their active evangelical work across the world.

Jehovah's Witnesses believe the text of the Bible is ultimate and ignore traditions like Christmas and Easter observed and celebrated by other denominations. They also follow a strict separation from the 'secular world' and disengage themselves broadly from the 'non-believers'. The Jehovah's Witnesses hold an apocalyptic world view and preach the imminent end of the world, which will be a spectacle of the ultimate battle between the good and the evil.