German authorities find Muenster car attacker was driven by mental illness, not terror

Apr 09, 2018, 12:38 IST | mid-day online desk

German authorities investigating a deadly van ramming attack focused yesterday on mental health problems of the driver, as the city of Muenster mourned for the two people killed on a sunny afternoon at an open-air restaurant

A man lights a candle at the square where the attack took place. Pic/AFP
A man lights a candle at the square where the attack took place. Pic/AFP

After the deadly ramming attack in Germany that killed two people in an open-air restaurant, the German authorities are investigating the killings by focusing on the mental health of the driver. The city if Muenster mourned for the two people who died. 

"There are strong indications at the moment that this was a lone perpetrator and that there were no links to the terror scene," said federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer at the site of Saturday's attacks, where locals laid flowers in memory of the victims. There are "no indications of a political motive," said Hajo Kuhlisch, chief of police in the western city where the attack took place.

Rather, he added, "the motive and origins (of the crime) lie within the perpetrator," a 48-year-old German identified as Jens R who shot himself dead immediately after the crime. A source close to the investigation said there was a record of incidents related to the perpetrator's impaired mental health since 2015, and that he had talked of suicide in late March. And broadcaster NTV reported he had threatened family members with an axe in 2014 and 2015.

People injured in the attack

(with inputs from Agencies)

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