Poland mayor dies after stabbing on stage at fundraiser

A Polish mayor died Monday, hours after he was attacked on stage during a political fundraising event, authorities said.


Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz was stabbed and received multiple internal injuries. Doctors unsuccessfully tried to save him with five surgeries, officials said.
Police arrested a 27-year-old suspect, who’d shouted on stage he was wrongly imprisoned by the Civic Platform Party, to which Adamowicz once belonged. The event was organized by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity.

The suspect, a Gdansk resident, had previously served time in jail for bank robberies. On Sunday, he was arrested on the stage in front of the stunned crowd. The attack was captured on video.

Police spokesman Mariusz Ciarka said the suspect appeared to have mental problems and had gained access to the area with a press badge.

The very public assault drew solidarity from politicians across Poland.

“I’m expressing great pain for the tragic death due to the criminal attack on mayor Pawel Adamowicz. We express solidarity with his family,” Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the country’s ruling party leader, said.

“Especially since the finale of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity has for the last 27 years always been associated with good, with something joyful, positive,” Polish Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski said.

Adamowicz was a member of the democratic opposition to Lech Walesa in the 1980s. He supported LGBT rights and tolerance for minorities, including the Jewish community.

ByNicholas Sakelaris