A 30-year-old Turkish national has been accused of deliberately running down a group of German schoolchildren in Hesse, leaving an eight-year-old girl dead and two other girls seriously injured.
The Turk is said to have driven his vehicle at a group of youngsters in the town of Witzenhausen on Friday, hitting several in front of a daycare centre. An eight-year-old girl who was injured died a short time later in hospital and two other girls, aged seven and eight, are also in serious danger.
Initially, according to a report from the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, investigators believed that the fatal crash had been accidental, but witness testimony has led them to believe the Turkish man purposely targetted the children.
The public prosecutor’s office in Kassel also stated that the preliminary opinion of an expert has led them to reclassify the case as murder.
Police are investigating after a car sped through a pedestrianized street in the German city of Trier on Tuesday afternoon, a ‘rampage’ that left at least two dead. https://t.co/TclczEXTMA
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 1, 2020
Investigators say at this time there is no evidence that the attack was motivated by terrorism and the 30-year-old is believed to have a history of psychiatric illness. They say his severe psychiatric illness may have played a major role in the alleged attack.
“The mood in the village has been very depressing since Friday, regardless of whether it was an accident or intentional,” Witzenhausen mayor Daniel Herz said.
Vehicles have been used as weapons in several terrorist attacks across many European countries in recent years, most notably the 2016 Nice attack in France that left 87 people dead. Perpetrator Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was shot and killed by police.
While children are rarely the main targets of terrorist plots, one foiled plot in France in 2019 saw a pair of radical Islamic extremists plan to enter a kindergarten in the Paris area and attack the children, taking others hostage until police arrived and then attacking the officers.
Manchester Bomber Used Government Benefits to Buy Bomb Parts https://t.co/pSvqJveCFo
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 11, 2020