Tuesday 25 September 2018

Terrorism is ruled out as police shoot knifeman in cathedral

Police cleared the cathedral and tried to calm the man. Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters
Police cleared the cathedral and tried to calm the man. Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Michael Sohn

Berlin police have ruled out terrorism after they shot and wounded a 53-year-old Austrian man who waved a knife inside a Berlin cathedral yesterday.

The Dpa news agency quoted police as saying the man appeared to be confused.

Berlin police spokesman Winfrid Wenzel said the incident began when the man entered the Berliner Dom and waved a knife near the altar. Cathedral employees called police and safely escorted about 100 visitors out of the holy site.

One of the two officers responding to the call opened fire, wounding the man, Mr Wenzel said. The second officer also was inadvertently wounded by the shot or shots fired by his colleague.

Both the suspect and the police officer were taken to a hospital. Dpa said the officer was in serious condition.

According to other reports, the man was running through the cathedral, waving a knife, being "verbally aggressive" and causing widespread panic among visitors.

Police cleared the cathedral and tried to calm the man. When that failed, one of the officers shot him in the legs to incapacitate him. He was being held under arrest in a hospital last night where his wounds were being treated.

The area around the cathedral is typically crowded with tourists and visitors, particularly on Sundays.

Irish Independent

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