Initial reports believe it was a deliberate attack by the driver, who was hunted down and shot by police during a standoff in a street in front of terrified witnesses. Motive unknown, media try to blame it on “mental issues.” One of the victims remains in a serious condition in hospital after the attack.
Express Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung cited police as saying the suspect was a young ‘German’ man. The newspaper said the suspect had stopped at a red traffic light and when it turned green put his foot down before hitting the group of people at high speed and smashing into a pillar.
Mirror Police say the suspect was armed with a knife when he ploughed his rental car into the pedestrians in front of a bakery at around 4pm local time on Saturday. Witnesses pointed him out to police as he fled on foot and he was shot during a brief standoff in front of a row of shops and flats and a hotel in the city centre.
Dramatic footage posted on Twitter showed the moment the knife-wielding suspect was shot by police. Police opened fire after he allegedly ignored orders to drop the weapon, Heidelberg 24 reported.
Around half a dozen officers surrounded the man and pointed their handguns at him as they shouted commands. After a brief standoff a single gunshot was heard, and officers then rushed towards the injured man on the pavement. Police said the suspect was seriously injured in the shooting and was in hospital.
Police did not reveal the man’s motives or background, but say a terror background was not suspected and he is thought to have acted alone. Local media reports suggested the man was suffering from mental health issues.