killing spree at kingdom hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Hamburg, Germany
Man kills eight, injuring many more at a kingdom hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Hamburg, Germany

Killing Spree at a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses

HAMBURG, GERMANY: A 35-year-old man, who was disfellowshipped from the Jehovah’s Witnesses some 18 months ago, forces entry to a kingdom hall where a language group were holding a religious service, and kills 8 persons, injuring many more. There were about 40 persons in attendance at the time.

Written by Jason Wynne, first published March 10, 2023 11:40am.

After a shooting spree at a kingdom hall in Germany on Thursday night at around 9pm local time, eight people are dead, including the suspected shooter, and others are injured.  The perpetrator is alleged to have been a Jehovah’s Witness who was disfellowshipped for undisclosed sins some 18 months ago. He is not known to the police for being an extremist.

At the time of the shooting, a special operations support unit was in the area and were able to respond to the attack very quickly. Officers entered the building shortly after 9:15pm and found several people with gunshot wounds. 

According to one resident, Jehovah’s Witnesses always have a meeting on Thursdays around 7pm. The service would have been over at or around the time of the shooting.

In a statement, the Hamburg police said, “Eight people were fatally injured, apparently including the suspected perpetrator,” and added, “some seriously”. Using a catastrophe warning app, an alarm for “extreme” danger” in the area was sounded and was lifted in the early hours of Friday morning.

The alleged shooter is identified as Philipp F in the media. He is 35 years of age and is one of the dead. He has a website where he offers his services as a consultant.  He was born on 18 September 1987 in Memmingeng, and grew up in Kempten “in a strict evangelical household.” He has a BA (Hons) in International Business Communication and MSc in Business Administration. His favorite football club is Liverpool FC and he visited Anfield Road in 2007. He also wrote a book in December 2022, entitled The Truth About God, Jesus Christ and Satan: A New Reflected View of Epochal Dimensions.

Hamburg Mayor, Peter Tschentscher and Chancellor Olaf Scholz have condemned the “brutal act of violence”.  However, the motive for the attacks are not yet known. “At the moment, there is no reliable information on the motive for the crime”, the police said.

The Hamburg police have set up a special website where witnesses to the attack can upload pictures or videos that may help in their investigation. They have also a hotline, 0800 000 7558, for people who are affected psychologically.

On the authorized website of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the issues a “BREAKING NEWS” some 15 hours after the incident.  In the statement, they reveal that “four brothers, two sisters, and a sister’s unborn child were killed”.  They conclude, “We are confident that Jehovah, the God of peace, will continue to be a refuge and strength in this time of distress.” Unfortunately, Jehovah wasn’t much of a refuge or any sort of strength for the victims. 

As a former believing member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, my heart goes out to the victims of this vile crime. No one should be threatened for peacefully exercising their right to worship. It’s unclear of the motive for the crime but no matter what the reason may be, there is no justification for murder.


While comments are welcome on this subject, please be mindful that this is a very sensitive and delicate matter. Treat all those affected by the crime with the respect they deserve at this very sad time. Insensitive or inflammatory comments will not be tolerated.