Driver in German van attack had history of run-ins with police

Glen Norman
April 9, 2018

Meanwhile, Herbert Raul, the state's interior minister, said that the driver of the van was "in all likelihood" a German-born lone attacker and not a refugee.

A man who killed two people after he drove a van into a crowd in Germany before taking his own life was already known to police.

As per a Reuters report, the vehicle ploughed into people seated at tables outside the Grosser Kiepenkerl eatery, a popular destination for tourists in the city's old town, killing a 51-year-old woman from Lueneburg and a 65-year-old man from Borken.

The recent ramming attack in Germany's Muenster came two years after 24-year-old Tunisian national Anis Amri drove a truck into people at a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 and injuring nearly 50.

The driver shot himself after driving into the crowd, Der Spiegel reports. Their names weren't given, as is customary in Germany.

The silver-grey van was hauled away hours later after explosives experts had thoroughly checked it.

Bishop Felix Genn preached Sunday night at the city's famous Paulus Cathedral, where the 700 seats were packed.

Photo taken on December 20, 2016 shows the Brandenburg Gate illuminated in the colors of the German national flag to mourn the victims of the Christmas market attack in Berlin, capital of Germany.

Lino Baldi, who owns an Italian restaurant near the scene of the crash, told Sky TG24 that the city center had been packed with people out enjoying a Saturday market and summer-like temperatures, which had risen to 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) from just 12 degrees (54 degrees F) a day earlier.

Authorities were also investigating the killings of some people and say the group may have procured weapons to enforce their goals.

Inside the van, police found illegal firecrackers that were disguised as a fake bomb, a fake pistol and the real gun the driver used to kill himself with.

Police still say 20 people were injured in the crash, with six of them in severe condition.

Armin Laschet, the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia state where Munster is located, toured the city on Sunday.

Police say they're still examining what kind of an object it is and whether it's unsafe.

The police have preserved a cordon in the area, while investigators are still collecting the evidence.

German interior minister Horst Seehofer, who visited the crash scene and laid flowers, said "this cowardly and brutal crime has shocked all of us".

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