A psychologically disturbed man plowed a van into a crowd in the northern German city of Münster on Saturday afternoon, killing two people and injuring 20 before shooting himself, German officials said.
The attack sparked fears on a continent that has been hit repeatedly by attacks in which vehicles have been turned into weapons in crowded city centers. But a top German official said that investigators did not believe the attack was by a terrorist.
“At the moment, there is no evidence that there is any Islamist background” to the attack, said Herbert Reul, the interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, the state where Münster is located. He said that the driver was a German citizen and that investigators were still working to establish a motive. Reul said that two victims and the attacker died in the incident, lowering the toll from what authorities previously said was three victims.
A senior German security official briefed on the ongoing investigation said that investigators believe the attacker was the 48-year-old in whose name the van is registered and that he had recently tried to take his life.
The van injured 20 people, six seriously, after it ran into a group of outdoor tables at a restaurant, North Rhine-Westphalia police spokesman Andreas Bode told reporters.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that “in light of the horrible incident in Münster, I’m deeply shocked. Everything possible is being done to investigate the act and support the victims and their families.”
Large portions of the city center remained shut down hours later, as helicopters hovered in the sky and police officers with large rifles blocked streets.
Source – Washington post