German city grieves after 5 killed in pedestrian zone attack

National News

Police officers guard the scene of an incident in Trier, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. German police say people have been killed and several others injured in the southwestern German city of Trier when a car drove into a pedestrian zone. Trier police tweeted that the driver had been arrested and the vehicle impounded.(AP Photo/Michael Probst)

BERLIN (AP) — Trier residents placed flowers and lit candles Wednesday at the base of the southwestern German city’s landmark Roman gate in tribute to the five people killed and more than a dozen others injured when a man drove an SUV at high speed through the central pedestrian zone.

The man, a 51-year-old from Trier whose name hasn’t been released, has made a statement to authorities and was to be taken before a judge later in the day to determine whether to keep him in police custody or put him into psychiatric care.

“The victims and their families need answers,” city mayor Wolfram Leibe told reporters near the makeshift memorial that was growing at the Roman gate known as the Porta Nigra, near the scene of the attack.

Prosecutors investigating the man for murder, attempted murder and other charges said after the Tuesday afternoon attack that they had no immediate indication of what prompted the man to act, but that there were no signs of a terror, political or religious motive.

He had been drinking heavily before the attack, authorities said.

Among the five killed were a 45-year-old man and his 9 1/2-week-old daughter. His wife and 1 1/2-year-old son were among the injured and were being treated in a hospital, police said.

Police originally identified the child as a 9-month-old but then corrected the age. The others killed were three women, aged 25, 52 and 73.

Police received the first call about the attack at 1:47 p.m. and were able to apprehend the suspect four minutes later after he stopped the car and they blocked him in.

Zig-zagging through the pedestrian zone, police said he traveled about 800 meters (875 yards) in total, “leaving behind him a trail of dead, injured and rubble.”


This story has been corrected to show that the age of the youngest victim is 9 1/2 weeks, not 9 months, based upon corrected information received from police.

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