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5 Dead in Germany Vehicle Rampage

Newser — Rob Quinn

In what authorities are calling a rampage—but with no apparent connection to terrorist groups—a man drove into pedestrians in the city of Trier in western Germany Tuesday, killing five people and injuring many others.

Authorities say the 51-year-old was arrested after driving an SUV into a pedestrian zone and plowing into people for more than half a mile, Deutsche Welle reports.

The man drove in a "zigzag" pattern to hit more pedestrians, police say. Prosecutor Peter Fritzen said a blood-alcohol test found that the man was extremely intoxicated.

"We have no indication that there was any kind of a terrorist, political, or religious motive that could have played a role," Fritzen said. The victims include a 9-month-old baby, whose mother was injured, the BBC reports.



More than a dozen others were injured, including at least three hospitalized in critical condition. Investigators say the suspect is a German citizen with no prior criminal record.

He had apparently been living in the Land Rover SUV, which had been loaned to him by somebody else. Fritzen said the man would undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

The AP reports that Mayor Wolfram Leibe fought back tears as he spoke about the horrific event. "I can't understand how someone gets the idea to drive through the city center with an SUV to kill people,” he said. “Kill people—a baby, 9 months old to a woman 72 years old; what did these people do? They just wanted to go to the city, shop, and now they are dead."

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