Tuesday, January 19

Five dead in Trier: alleged gunman has to face a judge


NAfter the rampage in downtown Trier with several dead, the urgent suspect is to be brought before the judge on Wednesday. According to the first findings of the public prosecutor’s office, there are indications of a possible mental illness in the 51-year-old. The judicial authority must therefore still decide whether to apply for pre-trial detention or placement in a closed psychiatric facility.

According to the investigations so far, the man had run over people in the Trier pedestrian zone in a high-powered SUV early Tuesday afternoon. According to the Interior Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Roger Lewentz (SPD), he zigzagged his car in the city center. Five people died, including a nine-week-old baby. 14 other people were injured. About four minutes after the first emergency call, police officers were able to arrest the driver.

The man’s motive is still unclear, but the investigators have so far ruled out a political or religious background. There is also no evidence of accomplices or accomplices of the arrested person. The suspect is German and a native of Trier. He was drunk at the time of the crime; he was found to be 1.4 per thousand. Investigations are underway against him for murder, attempted murder and dangerous physical harm. According to the investigators, he lived in the car in the days before the crime.

In addition to the baby, the fatalities include three women aged 25, 52 and 73 years as well as the 45-year-old father of the child. They all come from Trier. The baby’s mother survived and, according to the authorities, is in the hospital as well as her one and a half year old son.

Mayor Wolfram Leibe (SPD) spoke of the blackest day for the city in post-war history after the rampage. On Wednesday morning (10 a.m.) the victims will be commemorated at the Trier landmark Porta Nigra. In Trier Cathedral, around 100 people prayed for the dead, the injured and their relatives on Tuesday evening.

After the fact, the city center was cordoned off for further investigations. During the night, the crime scene work was completed and the pedestrian zone was opened again.

Anger, horror and deep sadness

The top representatives of the two large churches in Germany have expressed themselves shocked. “In this hour of speechlessness and grief I am connected to the victims, the deceased, the injured and the relatives,” said the chairman of the Catholic German Bishops’ Conference, Georg Bätzing, on Tuesday evening. The disturbing images from the city center left him with anger, horror and deep sadness.

“Inhuman attacks must have no place in our society,” said the Limburg bishop about the act in which five people were killed. The senseless use of force cannot be justified with anything.

The council chairman of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, complained in the Facebook network “abysses of suffering”. He prayed that the victims’ families would be strengthened and that the injured would recover.


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