A mutilated stroller was found in the wreckage of a German rampage today after a little girl and at least four others were killed when a Range Rover drove in a deliberate police attack on pedestrians.
Witnesses reported that the stroller was thrown off the ground and the victims were blown up after the car drove more than half a mile through a shopping area in Trier that is usually home to a popular Christmas market.
A 51-year-old German man was arrested near the Roman city gate four minutes after the rampage began and questioned tonight when police tried to determine the motive for the attack.
Five people, including the nine-month-old baby, were killed in the incident, confirmed the interior minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Roger Lewentz, three more seriously injured, five “seriously” injured and six from non-life-threatening injuries.
Lewentz said two women aged 25 and 73 and a 45-year-old man, all from Trier, were among the dead.
The suspect has been identified by Focus magazine as Bernd W, an unemployed electrician who was described by neighbors as a “strange person”. He recalled being “aggressive” as a child and reported rumors that he had lived in his SUV since his mother’s death years earlier.
The Range Rover was pulled away for an investigation tonight, hours after the mayor of Trier, Wolfram Leibe, said in a voice that broke with emotion that a young girl was among the dead in the attack.
Leibe described how he saw one of the girl’s discarded shoes at the scene, while another witness told the local newspaper Trierische Volksfreund that the dark gray vehicle made the stroller fly off the ground.
While the authorities did not describe it as an act of terrorism and security forces said they had no evidence of a “political background” for the attack, the incident has sparked memories of the 2016 Christmas market rampage in Berlin, in which 12 people were killed.
A destroyed stroller can be seen in the pedestrian zone in Trier today after witnesses described that a buggy was thrown into the air and authorities confirmed that a young girl had died in the attack
The driver is nailed to the ground next to the Range Rover, which is believed to have run over pedestrians in Trier today. At least four people were killed in a deliberate attack by the police
The Range Rover involved in the attack is being pulled away from where it was stopped and its driver arrested today
Debris was lying around near an ambulance, while rescue workers responded to the fatal incident in Trier today
Rescue workers and spectators stand near the scene in a pedestrian zone that would be full of people in a normal December at the city’s popular Christmas market
Armed police in the cordoned-off pedestrian zone when the authorities were investigating the fatal rampage in Trier today
The car is believed to have driven about half a mile through a pedestrian street near Porta Nigra, an ancient Roman gate
The car was stopped near the Porta Nigra, the ancient Roman gate, and the driver was arrested at the scene. The footage shows how he was pinned to the ground next to his damaged vehicle.
Police spokesman Karl-Peter Jochem said the driver had “randomly” driven people down after turning into the pedestrian zone.
The suspect, who lives on-site, was taken into custody Monday night, but authorities have not been made aware of a possible motive.
Germany has seen both Islamist and far-right attacks in recent years, and just today more than 180 officers were involved in a raid on a banned neo-Nazi group known for its racist and anti-Semitic ideology.
The report, which identified the suspect as Bernd W, made no suggestion of political ideology, but said he was unemployed and known for drinking at a local kebab shop.
Police said that after the driver was arrested, there was no further threat to Trier residents, suggesting that he acted alone. He was arrested four minutes after the first 911 call, the authorities said. .
The death toll and injuries were still clear on Monday evening, but the death toll was already higher than the two that were first announced.
In addition to the injured, there were many other “traumatized” pedestrians who were in shock after seeing what happened, the mayor said.
A witness who watched the rampage from a pedestrianized shop described seeing a baby carriage thrown into the air and said people ran into the house in a panic.
“We often see pictures like this on TV and think that this cannot happen here. Now it has happened in Trier, ”the mayor told reporters near the Porta Nigra.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman described today’s news as “shocking” and said the government’s thoughts were with the injured and the families of the victims.
Regional premier Malu Dreyer, who arrived at the scene on Tuesday evening, said she was deeply shaken by the events in the historic city she referred to as her hometown.
After the deliberate attack in Trier on Tuesday, the police are working in forensic equipment in the city center after dark
Police watch as rescuers push an injured person into an ambulance at the spot where a car hit pedestrians today
The silver Range Rover is said to have been used in today’s deliberate attack on pedestrians in Trier
The Range Rover is lifted onto a truck to be taken away by police officers after dark in Trier on Tuesday evening
Emergency services at the scene of the accident in a closed pedestrian zone
At least two people were killed and several injured in Trier in southwest Germany today
After the driver was arrested, officials warned people to avoid the scene, saying they were on site alongside ambulance crews while helicopters were also hovering over the city.
The footage showed police cars and other emergency vehicles parked on a wide shopping street in Trier, a large part of which appeared to have been cleared.
Shoppers thronged the shops decorated with Christmas decorations, while sirens could be heard in the distance. Emergency services from nearby Luxembourg are also said to be on site.
While one of the most popular Christmas markets in Germany usually takes place in Trier, the event was canceled this year due to the pandemic.
While bars and restaurants have closed under a so-called “lockdown light” to combat infections, shops and schools have remained open in contrast to spring.
The incident brought back memories of the 2016 rampage at a Berlin Christmas market in which 12 people died.
The driver on this occasion, a failed Tunisian asylum seeker, was a supporter of the Islamic State jihadist group.
In August 2019, six people were injured in a series of motorway accidents in Berlin, which the public prosecutor described as a suspected Islamist attack.
After the incident in Trier on Tuesday, a square was blocked by the police and fire engines
A lot of rescue workers in the pedestrian area that would be full of Christmas shoppers in a normal December
An armed police officer spoke to a firefighter near the attack site on Tuesday, which lasted about four minutes
People look at rubble in front of a shop front in the pedestrian zone in Trier, where at least two people were killed on Tuesday
The local emergency services, according to the police, were a deliberate attack on Tuesday afternoon