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Muenster, Germany, van crash: what we know

A van crashed into a crowd in the western German city of Muenster on Saturday, killing multiple people and injuring others.

Police officers secure the crime scene after a car crashed into a group of people leaving several dead in Muenster, Germany, on Saturday, April 7, 2018. 
Ferdinand Ostrop/AP

A van crashed into a crowd in the western German city of Muenster on Saturday, killing at least two people and injuring multiple others. A police spokesperson said that about 20 people were injured, six in critical condition, and that the driver of the vehicle shot and killed himself immediately after crashing into the crowd.

Police say they have “no clues” as to the driver’s motivations.

What we know

  • German police reported several people were killed and approximately 20 wounded when a man drove a vehicle into a group of people in Muenster, Germany, on Saturday. Three people, including the driver, have been confirmed dead. The victims were identified as a 51-year-old woman and a 65-year-old man.
  • Images of the area showed a small delivery van that appears to have jumped over the sidewalk and plowed through the outside area of an outdoor cafe.
  • The driver, who has not been identified, shot and killed himself immediately after crashing into the crowd.
  • The incident took place near the Kiepenkerl pub, a popular bar in the city’s historic downtown area.
  • Authorities are treating the crash as a deliberate attack. Police say they have “no clues” pointing to a possible motive.
  • A German security official said there is no indication of an Islamist extremist motive in the crash, but officials are investigating all possibilities. The driver was a 48-year-old German citizen, but police have not confirmed his identity.
  • “We cannot speculate about the motive at this stage but it is clear that the man who committed suicide drove a light truck into a larger group of people today,” a Muenster police spokesperson said.
  • The incident invoked comparisons to a 2016 incident in which a vehicle barreled into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin, which killed 12 people and injured 48 others.
  • Police are asking residents to avoid the area.
  • A spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said “our thoughts are with the victims and their families” who were killed and injured.
  • The White House in a statement said that President Donald Trump was briefed on the incident and that the administration’s “thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those killed and we wish a full recovery to those injured. While the German authorities have not yet announced a motive for this cowardly attack on innocent people, we condemn it regardless, and pledge any support from the United States Government that Germany may need.”

What we don’t know

  • The driver’s identity or motives.