Filmmaker Finn Noergaard, 55, and Dan Uzan, 37, a volunteer security guard, were shot to death this weekend. Both men lived in Copenhagen.
Omar El-Hussein opened fire inside a cafe on Saturday and outside a synagogue on Sunday in Copenhagen, Denmark. Two men were killed: 55-year-old Finn Noergaard and 37-year-old Dan Uzan.
Five people were injured. On Sunday, police shot and killed El-Hussein.
Noergaard was a Danish filmmaker. He was participating in a public discussion at a cafe on free speech and Islam when he was shot in the chest.
A friend of Norgaard’s told the Sydney Morning Herald that he had undergone surgery a few years ago to mend a hole in his heart, making the gunshot wound to his chest all the more difficult to bear.
Noergaard worked for the Danish Broadcasting Corporation from 1989 to 2001. According to his LinkedIn profile, he joined independent film company Filmselskabet in 1998, and became the owner in 2001.
The subject matter of Noergaard’s films varied, but suggest a particular focus on international stories. In 2004, he made a documentary called Boomerang-Drengen (Boomerang Boy) about an Australian boy’s dreams of becoming a world champion in the sport.
Four years later, he produced Le Le, a film that explored the lives of Vietnamese immigrants in Denmark.
And the following year, in 2009, Noregaard directed and producer another, more experimental work whose title roughly translates in English to Another Way: The Story of Four Danes and a CEO. In this film, Noergaard explored how a Danish businessman and four criminals from immigrant communities navigated stereotypes thrust upon them.
Thomas Bartels, a television producer who had worked with Noergaard, told The Guardian he was a “good man loved by his friends.”
Bartels added that he did not believe Noergaard was an intended target, because the subjects of his films were not controversial. The last project they worked on together, he said, was a film about children whose parents were incarcerated.
Uzan, born to a Danish mother and an Israeli father, was a former basketball player and volunteered as a security guard. The night of his death, he was working outside a bat mitzvah with 80 people were in attendance. He was reported to have been talking to law enforcement officers outside the synagogue when he was shot at close range.
At more than 6’5″, Uzan was known throughout the Jewish community in Copenhagen as something of a gentle giant.
“It was very symptomatic of Dan that he had offered to help out last night,” Flemming Voetmann, a friend of Uzan’s who was inside when the shooting happened, told The Algemeiner.
“He was the warmest person I knew.”
The Alemeigner also reported that he was known as “Dan the Man” to friends. Those within his volunteer circle also called him “the big rock” for his commitment from a young age to protect the Jewish community.
Others who knew him said that when people gave him hugs, they were known to disappear in his large embrace.
He first played for the Hoersholm 76ers, and then appeared to make the switch to a team called Hobas, where he was a center from 2010–2011.