At least two people including a small child have been killed and 15 injured after a driver ploughed his car into a crowd of people in the historic centre of the city of Trier, in south-west Germany.
Shortly before 2pm a 51-year-old man turned his silver-grey SUV on to the pedestrianised Brotstrasse shopping area, police said, where he “hit and ran over people at random”.
In a short press conference at the scene, police said the driver had been arrested and his vehicle had been seized, but would not comment further on whether the incident was deliberate.
“The car was stopped by us on Christophstrasse,” said a police spokesperson. “Inside the car was a 51-year-old German citizen from the Trier-Saarburg administrative district, who was arrested.” News outlet Der Spiegel named the driver as “Bernd W”.
Trier’s mayor, Wolfram Leibe, described the incident as a “rampage”, though police said they could not yet comment on a motive.
Brotstrasse and Simeonstrasse, a 1km long, straight street lined with shops and cafes that lead up to the Porta Nigra, the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps, remained sealed off on Tuesday afternoon as police searched for evidence.
Innercity schools were informed of the incident at about 2pm local time, and parents were told to pick up their children rather than let them walk home on their own.