Baby among four killed as car runs down shoppers in Germany

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Baby among four killed as car runs down shoppers in Germany

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

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TRIER,Germany(AFP)— A baby was among four people killed and 15 injured when a car tore through a pedestrian shopping street in the southwestern German city of Trier on Tuesday, police said, after arresting the driver.

Prosecutor Peter Fritzen said the driver, a 51-year-old Trier native, appeared to be suffering from "psychiatric problems" and had been under the influence of alcohol whilst at the wheel of his silver SUV.

Police, who have been questioning the suspect, said they had "no indications of a political motive".

Prosecutors are considering requesting that the suspect be placed in psychiatric care, Fritzen told reporters.

At the same press conference, Trier mayor Wolfram Leibe said among the dead were a nine-month-old baby and a 73-year-old woman.

"I think this is Trier's darkest day since World War II," he said.

Also killed were a 25-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man. Fifteen people were injured, several seriously.

Malu Dreyer, premier of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate where Trier is located, expressed shock that a baby was among those killed by the driver's "insane act" and shared her condolences with all the affected families.

The baby's mother was being treated in hospital for injuries sustained in the rampage.

Witnesses had earlier described seeing people, including a young child in a stroller, being flung into the air as the car struck them.

- 'Traumatised' -

The incident started around 1:50 pm (1250 GMT) and ended within four minutes of the first emergency calls arriving, with police intercepting the driver after he turned right off a main shopping street.

Police said he had ploughed through the streets for about a kilometre, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

Officers sealed off the area and cleared people from the city centre.

Smartphone footage from an eyewitness showed the arrest of the driver, who was seen lying face down on the street pinned down by several officers next to the damaged SUV.

He was the sole occupant of the vehicle.

An unnamed man who said he was a former neighbour of the suspect told NTV that the driver had a history of mental issues, as well as money worries and problems "with his father".


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