ODENSE, Denmark — Armed with what the police imagine was a pretend gun and a mock explosive belt, Peter Madsen ran for the gates on the jail exterior Copenhagen the place he was serving a life sentence for killing the journalist Kim Wall on his home made submarine three years in the past.
However whereas he managed to get exterior the partitions of the jail Tuesday morning, he didn’t get far. 5 minutes later and simply half a mile away, cops surrounded and finally detained him, bringing the jail break to an in depth.
Mr. Madsen, a Danish inventor, was already infamous after his conviction within the 2017 killing of and dismemberment of Ms. Wall aboard the submarine he constructed himself close to Copenhagen in a case that horrified the nation.
His escape from Herstedvester Jail, on the western outskirts of the Danish capital, captured the nation’s consideration once more, as pictures and tv footage emerged on native media of Mr. Madsen surrounded by armed cops and bystanders shouting abuse at him.
Mogens Lauridsen, the chief superintendent of the Western Copenhagen police, stated at a briefing that in making his escape Mr. Madsen had worn what gave the impression to be a pretend explosive belt and thrown away a “gunlike object” as he fled.
“We don’t suppose it was a gun, nevertheless it seemed like one,” Mr. Lauridsen stated. He stated the police had been shortly in a position to encompass Mr. Madsen, however took additional precautions due to the belt, and he was solely taken again into custody a number of hours later. Additional particulars on the gunlike object and the belt weren’t instantly accessible.
Images and movies posted by Ekstra Bladet, an area information outlet, appeared to point out Mr. Madsen seated on the facet of the highway surrounded by armed cops with the realm cordoned off. Different footage from the scene reveals bystanders angrily screaming profanities at Mr. Madsen, and “Drown your self!” and “You need to be dismembered!”
The police stated that Mr. Madsen didn’t seem to have acquired exterior assist in his escape try, however that they had been investigating that chance.
Nick Haekkerup, the minister for justice, referred to as the escape try “very severe” in a submit on Twitter and stated that prisoners serving a life sentence “shouldn’t have the ability to escape.”
Mr. Madsen had taken a feminine jail psychologist hostage, the chairman of the jail employees’ union, Bo Yde Sorensen, instructed Ekstra Bladet, including that he had been brandishing what gave the impression to be a gun.
“The weapon was so lifelike that jail guards on the gate didn’t take any probabilities in relation to the hostage,” Mr. Sorensen instructed the newspaper. Mr. Madsen’s actions had been deemed a hazard to the jail employee’s life, prompting a call to let him out of the gate, he stated.
“It’s a call I assist,” he stated. “We don’t wish to threat anyone getting killed — we’ve got to seek out individuals afterward.”
Guards adopted Mr. Madsen as he fled, however stepped again when he threatened them, the information outlet reported, earlier than the police finally took him into custody.
Hanne Hoegh Rasmussen, the top of the jail, wouldn’t touch upon the stories of a hostage-taking however stated in the course of the Tuesday information convention that nobody on the jail had been bodily harmed.
“However it’s been very psychologically worrying for everyone concerned,” she stated.
Kirsten Schlichting, 78, who lives and works close to the jail, spoke with TV 2, a nationwide information community, and described a heavy police presence as officers tried to apprehend Mr. Madsen.
“The one factor I’m nervous about is the varsity which can also be shut by, however I don’t know if there are college students there,” Ms. Schlichting stated. “However I’m not afraid. There’s a lot of police watching out.”
Mr. Madsen was discovered responsible of the premeditated killing — equal to a homicide conviction — of Ms. Wall in 2018 and sentenced to life in jail. A life sentence is uncommon in Denmark, even in homicide circumstances, however Ms. Wall’s grisly loss of life horrified the nation, and the brutality of the crime made Mr. Madsen’s trial one of the vital intently watched in Scandinavian historical past.
Ms. Wall, 30, disappeared after assembly Mr. Madsen for an interview aboard his submarine in August 2017. Her physique was later found dismembered, and Mr. Madsen was arrested and charged together with her killing.
Mr. Madsen initially provided a collection of shifting explanations about Ms. Wall’s whereabouts, earlier than admitting to dismembering her physique and tossing physique components overboard. However he denied killing her.
Ms. Wall, a contract journalist who had written for worldwide shops together with The New York Occasions, graduated from the London College of Economics and acquired two grasp’s levels from Columbia College. She reported from Uganda, Sri Lanka and Cuba, and died solely miles from Trelleborg, Sweden, the place she grew up.
“Kim needed to offer a voice to individuals who didn’t have one,” Joachim Wall, her father, stated in a current interview with The New York Occasions. “She was at all times on the lookout for the story behind the story.”
A tv drama based mostly on the police investigation of her killing premiered in Denmark final month.
Martin Selsoe Sorensen reported from Odense, Denmark, and Megan Specia from London. Thomas Erdbrink contributed reporting from Amsterdam and Christina Anderson from Stockholm.