A good five years after the terrorist attack on Berlin’s Breitscheitplatz, a number of emergency services are again rushing to City West. sirens wail. A driver drove into a group of people. A woman dies, many students are injured. This is what we know so far about the shooting and suspect Gor H.
The police arrested a 29-year-old after the deadly suspected amok drive in Berlin. Berlin’s Senator for the Interior, Iris Spranger, spoke on Wednesday evening of an “amoktat by a mentally handicapped person”.
According to several consistent media reports, it should be Gor H. As reported by “Spiegel”, Gor H. has been registered in Berlin for more than ten years. The police have not yet released the suspect’s name.
The man – according to the police, a German-Armenian living in Berlin – is said to have driven into the group of people at 10:26 a.m. He was initially held by passers-by, said police spokesman Thilo Cablitz on site in the morning.
An eyewitness reported to the “Berliner Zeitung” that he immediately tried to escape until passers-by were able to overpower him. “He was completely upset, kept trying to get up and keep running,” said the eyewitness. One of the passers-by who held him until the police arrived said he looked confused. “He kept asking for help,” the eyewitness told Der Spiegel.
The police checked whether it was an accident, a medical emergency or an intentional act. As the “Spiegel” reports, the investigators would currently consider the incident to be a rampage.
Berlin’s Senator for the Interior, Iris Spranger, announced that the suspect would be checked in all directions. “He knew what he was doing. He kept stepping on the gas,” an eyewitness told Der Spiegel.
According to dpa information, the perpetrator was driving a car that belonged to his older sister. He is said to have been known to the police, but not in connection with extremism. Gor H. is said to be violent and is said to have been mentally disturbed in the past, reported the “Spiegel”. There are indications of a possible illness.
The police are said to have found a letter of confession in the vehicle, the German press agency and the “Bild” newspaper reported unanimously. Nothing was initially known about the content.
Berlin’s Senator for the Interior, Spranger, later said that there hadn’t been a “real letter of confession” after all. Posters and documents are said to have been found in the driver’s car. “There should be posters where he talks about Turkey,” said Spranger.
According to “Spiegel”, a poster is directed against Turkey, which committed genocide against the Armenians in World War I. However, it is unclear whether the posters belong to the 29-year-old or his sister, who owns the car.
The exact motivation of the driver must be investigated, the police said. A police spokeswoman said: “We are still checking the nature of the statements on documents and posters found in the car.” According to the “Bild” newspaper, the driver’s motive should not have been political. The “image” quoted an investigator: “Definitely not an accident – a gunman, an ice-cold killer.” A police spokeswoman did not initially confirm this.
The man drove his small Renault car on the corner of Ku’damm and Rankestrasse onto the sidewalk of Ku’damm and into a group of people. Then he drove to the intersection and just under 200 meters further east on Tauentzienstrasse.
Shortly before the corner of Marburger Strasse, he steered the car off the road onto the sidewalk again, touched another car, crossed Marburger Strasse and ended up in the window of a perfumery shop. After the incident, a covered body lay near the intersection of Kurfürstendamm, Rankestrasse and Tauentzienstrasse. A spokeswoman for the Douglas perfumery chain confirmed the accident. There were no injuries in the store.
The scene of the accident is not far from the Memorial Church on Breitscheidplatz in Berlin-Charlottenburg. In December 2016, an Islamist assassin drove into a Christmas market there. A total of 13 people died and more than 70 were injured as a result of the long-term effects.
A teacher from Hesse died in the incident. The woman was in Berlin with 24 tenth-grade students from a school in Bad Arolsen in northern Hesse, the Hessian state government announced on Wednesday. Another teacher is said to have accompanied her, the teacher is said to have been seriously injured. Fourteen students are said to be among the injured, reports the “Bild” newspaper. The students from Hesse would be psychologically cared for, said Berlin’s Interior Senator Iris Spranger (SPD) on Wednesday in Berlin. A pregnant woman with a broken hip is said to be among the injured.
According to the police, 14 people were injured in the deadly car incident on Wednesday evening, several of them life-threateningly. There was some conflicting information about the number of victims. Previously there were 30 injuries, then eight. According to the fire brigade, six people suffered life-threatening injuries in the incident on Wednesday morning. There were also three seriously injured and several slightly injured.
According to their own statements, the police were on duty with around 130 forces on Wednesday morning, and the officers used a helicopter to get an overview from the air. A police drone was also deployed. The area was cordoned off over a large area. There were several ambulances and police cars at the scene.
Several hours after the incident, the Europa Center was partially cleared on Wednesday afternoon. The reason is the closer examination of the perpetrator’s car, which was opposite the large shopping center on the other side of Tauentzienstraße. It’s just a precautionary measure in case there’s anything dangerous in the car, police said.
Berlin’s governing mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) promised support to those affected. “We will do everything we can to help those affected.” Likewise, everything will be done to clarify the course of events. She also wanted to get an idea of the situation on site in the afternoon. “Now it is important that the injured are cared for.” In addition, the relatives who are in shock need help and support.
Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed his dismay after the fatal car incident in Berlin. “My thoughts are with the seriously and very seriously injured, with the fatality,” he said on Wednesday. “And they are with those who had to experience terrible things. My deepest sympathy goes to them, all their relatives and survivors.”
The federal government also expressed its sympathy after the fatal incident involving a driver in Berlin. The government was “very affected and shaken,” said deputy government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann on Wednesday. Thoughts and sympathy are with the injured and their families.