Driver rams car into German pedestrians, killing one man

Police officers stand in front of a car in Heidelberg, Germany, on Saturday after the driver ran into pedestrians, killing one and injuring two others. The unidentified man attempted to escape but was shot by police. Photo by Rene Priebe/EPA

Feb. 26 (UPI) — A man deliberately rammed a car into a pedestrian area in Heidelberg, Germany, killing a 73-year-old man and injuring two others.

Shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday, police say the suspect drove a rental car into crowded area of Bismarkplatz square in the city in southwest Germany. The 35-year-old unidentified man was armed with a knife as got out of the car and attempted to flee, before he was confronted by officers and shot.

“There are no indications of a terrorist background,” police spokesman David Faulhaber told reporters. He gave no possible motives for the attack.

Last December in a terrorist attack, a Tunisian man drove a stolen truck into a crowd of people that killed 12 people and injured 56. And on Saturday night in New Orleans, a 25-year-old man drove his car into a crowd at the Endymion parade while allegedly intoxicated, injuring 28 people, police said.

Police in Mannheim, Germany, posted on Twitter: “German WITHOUT migration background!”

The suspect was taken to a hospital. According to local newspaper Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, the man was not in physical shape to be questioned.

Treated and released from a hospital were a 32-year-old woman from Austria and a 29-year-old man from Bosnia-Herzegovina. The 73-year-old German man died at an area hospital and his identity has not yet been made public.

Witnesses told the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung newspaper a black Opel car was waiting at a red light. After the lights turned green, he drove the directly at a crowd in a pedestrian zone near a busy tram and bus stop, outside a bakery. The car hit three people and struck a pillar.

“Afterwards, the suspect climbed out of the vehicle and moved away on foot, armed with a knife,” police said. “In front of the local indoor swimming pool, he was identified by a police patrol on the advice of passersby. During the arrest, the police officers used firearms.”

The city is home to Germany’s oldest university, Heidelberg University, and several reputable research institutions.


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