A year-long conflict between biker and immigrant gangs is on the verge of flaring up after two young men were shot and killed this past week.
‘It’s fair to call two killings in a week an escalation,’ said Henrik Svindt, head of the Copenhagen police gang unit.
Due to the on-going nature of the investigations, Svindt would not confirm that Wednesday’s shooting in Christiania and Saturday evening’s shooting in the Nordvest district were gang-related.
Olcay Ünal, 33, was shot 11 times on Saturday as he emerged from a memorial ceremony for the victim of Wednesday’s shooting, Ahmad Reza Jamali, 26, who was reported to be an acquaintance of Ünal.
According to eyewitnesses, Ünal was gunned down by a single man who fled the scene in a car together with four other men.
Police arrested three suspects the same evening, based on eyewitness accounts of the getaway car. Two more people were subsequently arrested on Sunday.
All five were brought before a judge, but despite eyewitness accounts from about 20 people, only one suspect remains held on remand.
Svindt said police had yet to establish a motive for the shooting, but said they were convinced the two slayings were related. The information so far suggested that drugs or gangs or both were involved, he said.
‘Some of the people involved on Saturday are involved in gangs, so we’re looking into whether there is a connection.’
Svindt would not confirm rumours that Ünal was a member of the Hells Angels gang. Spokesman Jørn ‘Jønke’ Nielsen, from the Hells Angels, referred to him as a ‘dear friend’ of the gang, but not a member.
Ünal had been involved with a number of run-ins with the police including a conviction for making a death threat, suspicion of bank robbery and taking part in the breakout of a police suspect who was being treated at Rigshospitalet. During the breakout, shots were fired at a guard.
With last week’s shootings, six people have now died in gang-related violence since last August.