At least four people, including a baby, died this Tuesday in Trier (western Germany) and about 30 have been injured, some of them seriously, when a car, whose driver has been arrested, burst into a pedestrian zone at high speed. local media report.
The Trier police (Trier in German) have been limited for the moment to speak of “several dead” and “several wounded” and has advanced that the suspect is a 51-year-old man of German nationality. At 19:00 local time (17:00 GMT) a press conference will be held in the town hall.
The events occurred in the early afternoon in the historic city center, between the Basilica of Constantine and the famous Porta Nigra, when a gray Range Rover SUV was launched at high speed through a pedestrian and commercial area. .
For several hundreds of meters, according to several witnesses, it ran over bystanders, some of whom were blown up, and razed stalls in nearby shops. The front of the vehicle had visible damage.
From there, the driver took the vehicle to an adjacent street, outside the pedestrian zone, where he was intercepted by several police vehicles and detained by officers. Barely four minutes passed from the first notice to the arrest.
The police pointed out that for the moment the suspect’s motive is unknown, although several experts ruled out in different German media that it was an accident due to the long journey that the vehicle made through pedestrian streets, and they agreed to judge the multiple hitting as intentional, an extreme that the police have not confirmed.
The suspect, whom various media identify as Bernd W. and who was circulating alone, is a resident of a nearby town.
The mayor of Trier, Wolfram Leibe, was shocked in brief statements to the media after touring the affected streets, spoke of “horror” and confirmed that one of the deceased was a minor.
The head of the Government of the Land of Rhineland Palatinate, Malu Dreyer, referred to a “horrible day” when visiting the city in the middle of the afternoon and of “lives taken” in “a second” and especially highlighted the death of “a baby”. He also asked for quick support for the victims.
The spokesman for the German Government, Steffen Seibert, said for his part that the events in Trier are “shocking” and conveyed his support, on behalf of Chancellor Angela Merkel, to the families of the victims and the injured.
The police of the German town pointed out that “they have no indication that the danger lasts” once the driver has been arrested.
The entire area has been cordoned off while investigators collect evidence. A large number of agents have been deployed in the center of the city, some of them heavily armed, while a team of bomb squad has checked the vehicle to rule out any artifact and two helicopters fly over the city.
The police have asked citizens to avoid the affected area as much as possible.