Philipp F. charged at least €250,000 per day (plus 19% VAT) for consulting work in ‘auditing’ and ‘theology’. “It is advisable to look at things in a broader context,” the 35-year-old said, in an attempt to explain the large fees he asked for his services, to the professional website searched by Spiegel on Thursday night.
It was an investment, argued Philipp, that he had studied Economics in Munich. His consulting techniques — the result of a course in business administration, an internship at a bank and experience in international management positions — are supposed to yield at least €2.5 million in companies that hire you.
Philipp F. has been living in Hamburg since 2014 and describes himself as a “self-confessed European” who has “integrity, confidence and high performance” as “fundamental principles”: “These are the values I stand for, support and practice,” the man said. The same man who, on Thursday night, killed two men and four women, one of whom was seven months pregnant, in a hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Winterhude, in the city of Hamburg.
Shooting at Jehovah’s Witnesses center in Hamburg kills 7. Authorities had already been warned about the “mental health” of the attacker.
Philipp F. belonged to this church, but an anonymous letter sent to the police before the attack revealed that the he had left, of his own accord, because he was “angry” with religion as a whole — and especially with Jehovah’s Witnesses. The author warned the police that Philipp F. should not be allowed to have a gun because, he suspected, he would suffer from an undiagnosed mental illness.
Authorities say they investigated those allegations and reportedly concluded there was no cause for concern. During an inspection, Philipp F. revealed that he was “understanding” with the agents who visited him, police said, and reacted naturally when he was warned that all guns had to be kept in a safe – because one of them was out of it. “The agents’ legal options have been exhausted,” a police source told a news conference.
Philipp F. had obtained his gun license in December. Four months later, with a semi-automatic Heckler & Koch P30 in hand, attacked the worshipers inside the hall. He first shot 10 times at a woman who was maneuvering inside a car in the parking lot. It is one of the light wounds.
Then Philipp F. entered the building from the north side. From then on the shots were continuous: fired about 135 rounds — nine clips, each holding 15 rounds — against the community that had just attended a meeting. In addition to the victims, eight people were injured in the aftermath of the attack, four of them seriously.
The first calls to the emergency number were made at 21:04. Seven minutes later, forces from the Special Police Operations Support Unit – a law enforcement body created in October 2020 to deal with mass murders and terrorist attacks – arrived on the scene. At that moment Philipp F. went up to the first floor and killed himself. Next to it were nine unused clips. Three hundred and thirty bullets.
In public statements, an official source of Jehovah’s Witnesses said that local elders are “giving comfort and spiritual encouragement” to the families and friends of the victims: “We appreciate the courageous assistance of the police and emergency services. We are praying for all those affected by this tragedy. We are confident that Jehovah, the God of peace, will continue to be a refuge and strength in this time of distress.”