The gunman who on Thursday night killed six people at a center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Hamburg, Germany, is Philipp Fusz, 35, a German national and former member of the religious community, with whom he had apparently clashed, according to the British press.
At a press conference, a senior German police official said the gunman left the Jehovah’s community about 18 months ago, “but that he was apparently not on good terms.”
Hamburg’s prosecutor said a terrorist motive had already been ruled out, with the police chief suggesting during the press conference that Philip may be suffering from mental illness.
Hamburg Police Chief Ralph Martin Mayer said the suspect had a gun license and had been legally in possession of a semi-automatic weapon since last December.
Meyer revealed that Philip had already been approached by police following an anonymous tip in January which claimed the man had shown “anger towards groups of religious believers, particularly Jehovah’s Witnesses”. At the time, the man cooperated with police and showed no signs that would lead agents to find reasons to remove the gun. “The reality is that an anonymous tip where someone says another person has a mental illness is not, by itself, enough to take action,” Meyer said.
On a web page, created by himself, in which the daily mail had access, Philipp Fusz claims he moved to Hamburg to work in the energy sector. He sold consulting services for which he charged 250,000 euros a day. “The value is due to the fact that my work will leverage the company by at least 2.5 million euros,” he wrote on the page, to justify the cost.
“Doing good to others will bring you back in a meaningful way, from places you can’t even imagine,” he also wrote on the site, which also links to a book written by Philipp titled “The Truth about God, Jesus Christ and Satan. A Reflected New Vision of Epochal Dimensions’.
According to Amazon, the book was published on December 20, 2022, and in the “About the author” section there is information that Philipp was born on September 18, 1987 and grew up in Kempten, in the Allgäu region of southern Germany, in a very religious family. He settled in Hamburg after studying business administration and lived abroad several times.
At least six people died and eight others were injured in the aftermath of the shooting. A seven-month pregnant woman was hit and the fetus ended up dying. Philip took his own life after police arrived, local authorities said.