A van crashed into a crowd outside a favorite bar Saturday inside western German city of Muenster, killing three people along with also injuring 20 others before the driver of the vehicle killed himself, police said.
Police spokesman Peter Nuessmeyer told The Associated Press that will he could not confirm German media reports that will the perpetrator was a middle-aged German man who reportedly had psychological issues.
Another police spokesman, Andreas Bode, told reporters the driver shot himself to death inside van after the crash. He said the driver’s identity was not yet known along with also that will the idea was too early to speculate about his motive.
He said police were checking witness reports that will some other perpetrators might have fled coming from the van at the scene of the crash.
Police tweeted that will residents should “avoid the area near the Kiepenkerl pub” inside city’s historic downtown area where a large-scale police operation was underway.
Bode said six of the 20 injured were in severe condition. The city’s university hospital called on citizens to donate blood Saturday night to help them.
Police also said they found a suspicious object inside van that will they were examining to see if the idea is usually dangerous. They told German news agency dpa that will was the reason authorities cordoned off such a large area around the crash, which took place at 3:27 p.m. on a warm spring day.
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper also said the suspect’s apartment was being searched Saturday night for possible explosives.
Muenster, a major university city, has about 300,000 residents along with also an attractive city center rebuilt after World War II.
German news Television n-tv showed a narrow street sealed off Saturday with red-along with also-white police tape. Dozens of ambulances were near the cordoned-off downtown area. Helicopters were flying overhead.
The Kiepenkerl is usually not only one of the city’s best-known traditional pubs, yet also the emblem of the city, depicting a traveling salesman having a long pipe in his mouth along with also a big backpack on his back.
Germany’s top security official said he’s “dismayed by the terrible incident in Muenster” along with also that will city along with also regional police were working hard to clear up what happened. Indoor Minister Horst Seehofer said federal authorities were in close contact with officials in North Rhine-Westphalia state, where Muenster is usually located.
Lino Baldi, who owns an Italian restaurant in Muenster near the scene of the crash, told Sky TG24 that will the city center was packed due to a Saturday market along with also summer-like temperatures, which had risen to 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) coming from just 12 degrees (low 50s) a day earlier.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said his thoughts are with the victims along with also relatives of the crash in Muenster.
“We have to assume that will was a serious act of violence,” he said. “My deep sympathy goes to all those who have lost a loved one.”