BERLIN: A man armed with a long knife killed three people and seriously injured five others in the southern German city of Würzburg on Friday.
Police have identified the suspect as a 24-year-old Somali man living in Würzburg. He said that there was no danger to his life due to the bullet.
Bavaria’s top security official, Joachim Herrmann, said a young boy whose father was probably among the dead was among the injured.
Herrmann said the suspect was undergoing psychiatric treatment before the attack and was known to the police. There was no immediate word on a possible motive.
Videos posted on social media showed passersby surrounding the attacker and trying to catch him with chairs and sticks.
A woman who said she had witnessed the incident told German RTL television that police stepped in.
“He had a huge knife and was attacking people,” Julia Runz said. “And then a lot of people threw chairs or umbrellas or cell phones at him and tried to stop him.”
“Then the police came to him, and I think a shot was fired, you could clearly hear him.”
Police spokesman Kerstin Kunik said officers were alerted around 5 p.m. (1500 GMT) to a knife attack on Barbarossa Square in the city center. Würzburg is a city of about 130,000 people located between Munich and Frankfurt.
The governor of Bavaria, Marcus Soeder, expressed grief over the news of the attack. “We are deeply saddened by the victims and their families,” he wrote on Twitter.
“A huge thanks and respect to the enthusiastic intervention by the many citizens who confronted the suspected attacker in a determined manner,” Soeder said. “And all the first responders also at the scene for their work.”
About five years ago, a 17-year-old refugee from Afghanistan injured four people with an ax on a train near Würzburg. He then fled and attacked a female passerby before being shot by the police.