Van plows into crowd in Germany, killing 2

Two people died and some 30 others were injured Saturday when a delivery van plowed into a crowd of outdoor diners in a western German city, authorities said.

Ambulances are seen near the scene of a van crash in the inner city of Muenster, Germany, on Saturday. According to police, a man drove the van into a crowd of pedestrians, killing two people and injuring some 30 others, media reported. The driver then shot himself to death, police said. Photo by Sascha Steinbach/EPA
Ambulances are seen near the scene of a van crash in the inner city of Muenster, Germany, on Saturday. According to police, a man drove the van into a crowd of pedestrians, killing two people and injuring some 30 others, media reported. The driver then shot himself to death, police said. Photo by Sascha Steinbach/EPA

The incident occurred in Muenster, near the Kiepenkerl statue, around 3:30 p.m., the BBC reported.

Police said the van’s driver shot himself to death.

Several media outlets, including the Guardian and i24 Europe originally reported four were killed, including the driver, but officials reduced it to two bystanders and the driver.

The incident is being treated as a deliberate attack by police but the Germany newspaper Suddeutsche reported the incident is likely not a terrorist one, citing security sources. The driver, who was born in 1969, was believed to be a German citizen with a history of mental health issues, the newspaper reported.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel posted on Twitter she was “deeply shaken” by the tragedy and “everything possible would be done to clarify what happened and support the victims and their relatives.”

The attack happened in an older part of the town, which is popular on weekends.

Muenster has a population of 300,000 people, including about 58,000 attending universities, according to the government.

It also occurred on the one-year anniversary of the Stockholm terror attack in Sweden where a suspect drove a stolen truck into a crowd of pedestrians on a busy street, and four people were killed with several other people injured.

By Sommer Brokaw and Allen Cone