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A woman lights a candle at a tribute to the victims at the synagogue in Copenhagen

A woman lights a candle at a tribute to the victims at the synagogue in Copenhagen

AFP/Getty Images

A woman lights a candle at a tribute to the victims at the synagogue in Copenhagen

A suspected gunman killed by police after two deadly shootings in Copenhagen was 22 years old and had a background in criminal gangs.

Copenhagen police said the suspect was born in Denmark and had a criminal record, including for violence and weapons offences. They have not released his name.

Police said they had found an automatic weapon that may have been the one the suspect used in an attack on a cultural centre hosting a free speech event.

A Danish filmmaker attending a panel discussion on blasphemy was killed in the shooting at the free speech event and a member of the Scandinavian country's Jewish community was killed outside a synagogue. Five police officers were also wounded in the shootings.

Police believe the suspect carried out both shootings alone but are investigating whether he received help.

"Denmark has been hit by terror," Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said.

"We do not know the motive for the alleged perpetrator's actions, but we know that there are forces that want to hurt Denmark. They want to rebuke our freedom of speech."

Jens Madsen, head of the Danish intelligence agency PET, said investigators believe the gunman was inspired by Islamic radicalism.

"PET is working on a theory that the perpetrator could have been inspired by the events in Paris. He could also have been inspired by material sent out by (the Islamic State group) and others," Mr Madsen said.

Islamic radicals carried out a massacre at the Charlie Hebdo newsroom in Paris last month, followed by an attack on Jews at a kosher grocery store, taking the lives of 17 victims.

At least two people with handcuffs were taken out by police from an internet cafe in Copenhagen yesterday. Police spokesman Steen Hansen said "the action was part of the police investigation".

The Danish Film Institute said the 55-year-old man killed at the free speech event was documentary filmmaker Finn Noergaard. The Jewish victim was security guard Dan Uzan (37). Two police officers were slightly wounded.

Belfast Telegraph