January 19, 2021


The driver has been arrested, police said.

In the wake of the attack, two were pronounced dead, but officials confirmed four people had died — including an infant — and at least 15 were injured. Four of those remain in the hospital with life-threatening injuries, officials said.

Police said the male driver, a German citizen who was arrested on the scene, had a high blood alcohol content and there was reason to believe he was mentally ill.

“We arrested one person and one vehicle was seized,” Trier Police posted on Twitter. “According to initial findings, two people have died. Please continue to avoid the city center.”

The driver, a 51-year-old from Trier-Saarburg, was driving a Land Rover, and investigators said he may have been living in the vehicle.

The authorities have called on the public to avoid the city center and avoid spreading speculation about the incident.

There is no ongoing threat. The pedestrian zone — which in verified footage from the scene appears to be a shopping district in the center of Trier — has been cordoned off. Trier lies just inside the German border with Luxembourg, and the suspect is a 51 year-old from the Trier-Saarburg.

Police tweeted a map of the driver’s 900-meter path — about half a mile — through the city, swerving into pedestrians.

Officials said there did not appear to be a terror or political motive in the incident.

Roger Lewentz, interior minister of the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, seemed to condemn speculation online that it had been an Islamist attack, while not saying so directly.

“The perpetrator is from the region with a German background and we can already see on the internet that there are certain speculations, which nobody here will confirm,” Lewentz said.

An official said the man had recently been psychologically evaluated by a doctor at the health ministry.

“I am shocked and deeply shaken by the crime in my hometown #Trier,” Malu Dreyer, a local lawmaker, said in a statement. “My deepest sympathy goes to the relatives of the dead. I wish all the injured will recover soon and quickly.Thanks to all the emergency services. I will be in #Trier soon.”

The investigation is still ongoing, and the Trier Police spokesperson told ABC News it was “way too soon” to establish a motive.

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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


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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MUNICH — A man was arrested after he drove a speeding car into a pedestrian area in the westernGerman city of Trier on Tuesday, police said, killing five people, including a 9-month-old.

The crash injured at least 14 others, in addition to killing a 73-year-old woman, and the infant, Mayor of Trier, Wolfram Leibe, said during a press conference.

Trier police later said another severely injured individual had died, taking the death toll to five.

Police have arrested a 51-year-old German national, 51, from the Trier-Saarburg district, they said, and had begun questioning him.

The state interior minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Roger Lewentz, said the suspect had used a Land Rover SUV to seemingly target the busy crowd.

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Trier prosecutor, Peter Fritzen, told reporters the motive of the unidentified man was unclear, with no immediate signs of terrorist, political or religious motivations. He added that the suspect would be investigated for murder, among other charges, and did not appear to have a previous criminal record.

Fritzen also said there were signs that the suspect may have had psychiatric issues and that he had apparently consumed alcohol.

Pascal Höwig, 23, was shopping with a friend in the city center when the car drove through the pedestrian zone.

“We heard sirens all around us…then we saw all the people lying on the floor in the pedestrian zone. That was quite a shock,” Höwig told NBC News via Skype.

“There were people on the ground everywhere. There were also several crowds of people who took care of the people who were lying on the floor.”

Höwig said he heard screaming and saw the dead infant, adding, “nobody felt safe.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement posted on Twitter, “The news from Trier saddens me very much. My sympathies are with the relatives of the people whose lives were taken so abruptly and violently.”

Merkel added that she was in touch with local officials about the ongoing investigations.

The town of Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate, in Germany.Harald Tittel/dpa / Getty Images file

Trier police said on Twitter, there were “no indications of an ongoing hazard” and urged locals to avoid the area while emergency services were on site.

Malu Dreyer, Rhineland-Palatinate Minister President of Germany’s Social Democratic Party, offered her condolences and said she was on her way to the city, in a statement on Twitter.

“I am shocked and deeply shaken by the act in my hometown,” Dreyer said. “My condolences go out to the relatives of the dead. I wish all the injured that they recover soon and quickly.”

The city of around 110,000 people is in the far west of Germany, close to the border with Luxembourg.

According to the town’s official website, it is the oldest city in Germany and is known for its “Porta Nigra” Roman-era gate. It is also the birthplace of famed philosopher Karl Marx.

Like other parts of Germany, Trier is facing coronavirus restrictions including closed