January 27, 2021

pedestrians

BERLIN — Four people were killed and 10 others wounded after a drunk man sped in his S.U.V. through a pedestrian shopping street in the city of Trier in southwestern Germany on Tuesday. Prosecutors said the man did not appear to be motivated by political or religious beliefs and that they were investigating the case on suspicion of murder.

The man, a 51-year-old German who was born in Trier and lived in the surrounding area, was stopped by police after driving a zigzag course roughly half a mile long down the busy street lined with shops. Prosecutor Peter Fritzen said the man, who officials declined to name, was drunk and appeared to have been living in the vehicle, which was confiscated.

“There are indications that point to a possible psychiatric disorder,” said Mr. Fritzen.

Among the victims killed were a 9-month-old baby, a 25-year-old woman, a 45-year-old man and a 72-year-old woman, all from Trier. Four of the wounded were in serious condition, said Roger Lewentz, the interior minister for Rhineland-Palatinate state.

Images from a grainy video taken by a bystander, the authenticity of which was confirmed by a police spokesman, Uwe Konz, showed a silver S.U.V. being rammed by an unmarked police car and three officers surrounding and restraining the driver. Franz-Dieter Ankner, vice-president of the Trier police, said the vehicle was a Land Rover that was not registered in the driver’s name, but belonged to someone who was not involved in the incident.

Wolfram Leibe, the mayor of Trier, speaking to reporters, broke down when describing the carnage in a city where people were out making the best of what is proving to be a trying pre-Christmas season during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I just walked through the city center and it was simply horrifying,” Mr. Leibe said. “There was a sneaker standing there. The girl it belongs to is dead.”

Trier, in the wine-growing region of the Mosel Valley, boasts several Roman ruins and prides itself as being the oldest city in Germany. Its main pedestrian area, which includes a Roman gate and a market square lined with medieval buildings, would normally host a bustling Christmas market.

Pictures from the scene on Tuesday showed dozens of ambulances and police cars parked on the cobbled streets of central Trier, decorated for the holiday season with green garlands. Christmas markets in Germany have been largely canceled as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but stores are still open.

In December 2016, a 24-year-old Tunisian drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people before slipping the country to Milan, where he was killed in a shootout with Italian police several days later.

Following that attack, German cities began installing barriers to protect such markets and other street festivals where large numbers of people gather, but there was no such protection in place for the pedestrian street, Mr. Leibe said.

“If we had a Christmas market now like we do every year, we would

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At least five people were killed, including a 9-month-old baby, and several others injured when a man plowed his car into a group of people in a pedestrian zone in the southwest German city of Trier on Tuesday, police said.



a close up of a sign: A square in Trier, Germany, is blocked off by the police after the incident Tuesday.


© Harald Tittel/dpa via AP
A square in Trier, Germany, is blocked off by the police after the incident Tuesday.

Officers arrested the driver of the car, a 51-year-old German national. He was being questioned by police and will be prosecuted for murder and manslaughter, police said.

The chief public prosecutor said the driver was “severely intoxicated” — with a blood alcohol level of 1.4 — and there are “indications of psychological illness.”

Trier police said the motive was unknown, that the suspect has no police record and his background shows an indication of political motivation.

“We always see those images on TV, in other countries, and we always think this can’t happen in Trier. And now it has happened in Trier, and I am here as mayor, and I have no words and I wonder, how can such a man have this idea?” Wolfram Leibe, the mayor of Trier, said.

A spokesperson told CNN that officers were not seeking anyone else in Trier in connection with the incident.

“The care of the injured has absolute priority,” the force tweeted.

“What happened in #Trier is shocking,” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert tweeted after the incident.

He added that his “thoughts are with the relatives of the dead, with the numerous injured and with everyone who is currently on duty to care for those affected.”

State police in western Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate, where Trier is located, asked people in a Twitter post to not spread disinformation.



a police car parked in front of a building: German police say two people were killed when a car drove into a pedestrian zone.


© Harald Tittel/dpa via AP
German police say two people were killed when a car drove into a pedestrian zone.

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At least five people were killed, including a 9-month-old baby, and several others injured when a man plowed his car into a group of people in a pedestrian zone in the southwest German city of Trier on Tuesday, police said.



a close up of a sign: A square in Trier, Germany, is blocked off by the police after the incident Tuesday.


© Harald Tittel/dpa via AP
A square in Trier, Germany, is blocked off by the police after the incident Tuesday.

Officers arrested the driver of the car, a 51-year-old German national. He was being questioned by police and will be prosecuted for murder and manslaughter, police said.

The chief public prosecutor said the driver was “severely intoxicated” — with a blood alcohol level of 1.4 — and there are “indications of psychological illness.”

Trier police said the motive was unknown, that the suspect has no police record and his background shows an indication of political motivation.

“We always see those images on TV, in other countries, and we always think this can’t happen in Trier. And now it has happened in Trier, and I am here as mayor, and I have no words and I wonder, how can such a man have this idea?” Wolfram Leibe, the mayor of Trier, said.

A spokesperson told CNN that officers were not seeking anyone else in Trier in connection with the incident.

“The care of the injured has absolute priority,” the force tweeted.

“What happened in #Trier is shocking,” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert tweeted after the incident.

He added that his “thoughts are with the relatives of the dead, with the numerous injured and with everyone who is currently on duty to care for those affected.”

State police in western Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate, where Trier is located, asked people in a Twitter post to not spread disinformation.



a police car parked in front of a building: German police say two people were killed when a car drove into a pedestrian zone.


© Harald Tittel/dpa via AP
German police say two people were killed when a car drove into a pedestrian zone.

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Dec. 1, 2020Updated: Dec. 1, 2020 8:59 a.m.

BERLIN (AP) — A car drove into a pedestrian zone in the southwestern German city of Trier on Tuesday, killing two people and seriously injuring 15 others, officials said.

The driver, identified as a 51-year-old man from the area, was arrested and the vehicle was impounded, Trier police tweeted. Police and rescue crews were on the scene and authorities told people to avoid the city center.

In a video posted by a local media outlet purportedly showing the arrest, police could be seen pinning a man down on the sidewalk next to a car with Trier license plates. The authenticity of the video could not immediately be verified and it was taken down shortly after police tweeted a request that people do not share photos and videos of the scene.


Mayor Wolfram Leibe told the SWR broadcaster that in addition to the two dead, 15 people had suffered serious injuries.

No details were immediately available on the cause of the crash, and police didn’t answer their phones or email.

Trier is about 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of Frankfurt, near the border with Luxembourg. The city of about 110,000 people is known for its Roman gate, the Porta Nigra, which is near the scene of the crash, and as the birthplace of Karl Marx.

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