Car ploughs into crowds in Berlin, leaving people dead and injured

German-Armenian man, 29, who killed teacher, 51, and injured her students as he drove ‘full throttle’ into crowd of shoppers in Berlin had ‘posters expressing views about Turkey’ in his car as investigator claims: ‘This wasn’t an accident’

This is the moment 29-year-old German-Armenian man Gor H. was arrested after driving into crowds in Berlin At least one person died and 30 more were hurt when he rammed shoppers around 10.30am local time Dead person is a teacher, local media says, and students are among the wounded – six of whom are ‘serious’Police have confirmed the man’s arrest but have so-far refused to say whether the crash was deliberate

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This is the moment Berlin police arrested a 29-year-old German-Armenian man after he ploughed his car into crowds of shoppers this morning, killing a teacher and leaving 30 injured.

Footage shows police leading the handcuffed man – named locally as Gor H. due to Germany privacy laws – to a black BMW and shutting him inside. Just a short distance away, the man’s own car sits buried in the front window of a perfume shop as badly wounded people he just ran over lie on the pavement.

As he is put into the car, the man turns to the person filming and says ‘bitte hilf’ – or ‘please help’. German newspaper Bild tonight reported that the man was being examined in hospital. 

They also cited an unnamed investigator as saying: ‘(This was) by no means an accident – someone on the rampage, an ice-cold killer.’ While a source told the paper the man, thought to live in the capital with his sister, is known to police for ‘property crimes’. 

Witnesses say the man drove ‘very fast’ towards the pavement on Tauentzienstrausse – a street lined with shops and cafes – around 10.30am Wednesday before smashing into crowds of shoppers without braking. He then rejoined the road and drove another 600ft – past Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church – before hitting the shop.

One eyewitness said: ‘He drove at full throttle. At no point did he slow down.’ 

The man tried to flee the scene, witnesses added, but was held by two passersby until police arrived and arrested him. Officers have confirmed the arrest but refused to say whether they believe the crash was deliberate.

It was earlier claimed that a confession note had been found inside the vehicle, but these were later reported to be documents relating to Turkey. Berlin’s top security official, Iris Sprange said the posters in the man’s car ‘expressed views about Turkey’.

A 51-year-old female teacher was killed, Welt reported, while 12 students from the same school in Hesse – believed to be teenagers – are among those hurt. A second teacher with the same class, who were all on a school trip, is said to have been seriously hurt. 

Six people have life-threatening injuries while three are in serious condition, fire crews said. A pregnant woman also suffered a broken hip.

No motive behind the incident has been revealed. ‘We haven’t clarified everything yet,’ Berlin’s mayor Franziska Giffey told reporters at the scene, while an Interior Ministry spokesperson told a regular federal government news conference in Berlin it was ‘too early to speculate’ about what caused the incident.

The crash happened just yards from where an Islamist extremist killed 12 people at a Christmas market in 2016 by ramming them with a stolen van.

This is the moment police in Germany arrested a 29-year-old German-Armenian man who had crashed his car twice into crowds of pedestrians, leaving at least one person dead and a dozen injured

At least one person is dead after a car ploughed into crowds of people on a street packed with shops and cafes in western Berlin around 10.30am Wednesday

Dozens of people were hurt in the crash, some of them seriously, as local media said the car repeatedly mounted the pavement and hit people before the driver tried to flee

Dozens of firefighters, police and medics rushed to the scene – which is just a short distance from where 13 were killed in the 2016 Berlin Christmas market attack

Rescue workers help an injured person after a car crashed into a crowd of people in central Berlin, Germany

The silver Renault Clio is said to have mounted the pavement several times and rammed into people, before crashing through the front of a perfume shop

The approximate route the driver took is outlined in red, before he crashed and was tackled by passersby

Actor John Barrowman said he was inside a nearby shop when he heard a ‘bang’ and ran out to find ‘carnage’ including a dead body lying in the middle of the road

Fire crews help treat two young women who were wounded after a car mounted the pavement and drove into people in western Berlin on Wednesday morning

Fire crews strap an injured person to a stretcher after they were wounded by a car which mounted the pavement and ploughed into shoppers in Berlin on Wednesday

An air ambulance comes in to land on Rankestrausse, a busy shopping street in central Berlin where a car repeatedly mounted the pavement and drove into people on Wednesday morning

Police and fire crews rush to help people injured by a car in Berlin, as the vehicle sits embedded in the front of a perfume shop window. The driver has been arrested

Emergency responders stand at the site where a car ploughed into pedestrians in western Berlin on Wednesday morning

Armed police stand guard on the Berlin street where a car smashed into pedestrians – leaving at least one person dead

Berlin’s Mayor Franziska Giffey visits the crime scene where a car crashed into a group of people, near Breitscheidplatz in Berlin, Germany, June 8, 2022

Berlin’s Mayor Franziska Giffey speaks with members of the media, while visiting the crime scene where a car crashed into a group of people, near Breitscheidplatz in Berlin

Germany’s history of deadly car attacks 

2006: During the football World Cup in Germany in 2006, a German man rammed his car into crowds gathered to watch a match at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, injuring some 20 people. The driver was later committed to a psychiatric hospital.

2016: Twelve died in a Christmas market attack after being rammed by a truck driven by Anis Amri, who had pledged allegiance to ISIS, while the 13th victim was the truck’s original driver – shot dead by Amri who then stole the vehicle.

2018: In April, a German man crashed his van into people seated outside a restaurant in the city of Muenster, killing five before shooting himself dead. Investigators later said he had mental health problems.

2019: Another German national injured eight people when he drove into crowds on New Year’s Eve in the western cities of Bottrop and Essen. He was later taken into psychiatric care.

2020: In February, a German man rammed his car through a carnival procession in the central town of Volkmarsen, injuring dozens of bystanders, including children. He was sentenced to life in jail last year.

2020: A 30-year-old Iraqi man rammed his car into other motorists on the on the Bundesautobahn 100 in Berlin injuring six people in August. 

He had expressed support for Islamic extremist views, and was suspected of ‘in effect hunting down motorcyclists,’ officials said at the time. He was later moved to a psychiatric hospital, reports said.

2020: A German man ploughed his car through a pedestrian shopping street in December, in the southwestern city of Trier, killing four adults and a baby. 

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More than 100 emergency workers swarmed the scene after the incident. 

Doctor Who actor John Barrowman, 55, was in the area at the time, and described hearing a ‘loud bang’ from inside a shop before running out to a scene of ‘carnage’ with a dead body lying in the road and police ‘everywhere’. 

Posting on Twitter from the street, he said: ‘The car came down onto the pavement. Then has come onto the road over there, has hit somebody then has gone down the road and come back onto the pavement… and gone through a bunch of people and then right into a store front window.’

Speaking to Sky News, he added: ‘How horrible that this morning these people got up to just go through a regular day, they were going through their daily business. I mean we were shopping, but if you think if we’d have come out of that store one minute earlier…

‘We are no experts but this looks intentional,’ he added, speaking alongside husband Scott Gill. 

Frank Vittchen, a witness at the scene, told AFP he was sitting at a fountain nearby when he ‘heard a big crash and then also saw a person fly through the air’.

The vehicle drove ‘at high speed onto the pavement and didn’t brake’, he said, with its windows shattering from the impact. ‘It all happened so fast,’ he said.

Another witness who declined to be named told AFP the people hit by the car included a group of 15-16-year-olds, and that two teachers were among those injured.

Police said: ‘A man is believed to have driven into a group of people. It is not yet known whether it was an accident or a deliberate act.’

The driver was briefly detained by passers-by before being handed over to police after the car smashed through a shop front, according to police spokesman Thilo Cablitz. 

‘There are seriously injured people among the more than a dozen injured,’ said Cablitz.

Six were in a life-threatening condition, and another three were seriously hurt, the fire service said. 

The German government is ‘very concerned and shocked’ by the ‘terrible incident in Berlin’, said a spokeswoman, adding that their thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones. 

Berlin’s Senator for the Interior, Iris Spranger, said: ‘I’m in the situation center and keep myself informed. My thoughts and my deepest sympathy are with all those affected.’

A victim is stretchered into the back of am ambulance after a car drove into crowds in a shopping district in western Berlin

Medics help a wounded person into the back of an ambulance after they were hit by a car that mounted the pavement in Berlin

Rescue workers work at the site where one person was killed and a dozen injured when a car drove into a group of people in western Berlin on Wednesday morning

Rescue workers help an injured person after a car crashed into a crowd of people in western Berlin

A first-response helicopter is pictured at the site after a car crashed into a group of people in Berlin

Emeregency crews work at near site after a car crashed into a group of people before hitting a storefront in Berlin

Police officers work at the scene after a car drove into a crowd of people in western Berlin

Police officers stand at a cordoned-off area at the site where a car ploughed into a crowd in Berlin

A police tactical team secures the area, near a car that crashed into a group of people before hitting a storefront

Emergency workers gather next to Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin, opposite where the crash happened

The crash took place near the main shopping district’s Breitscheidplatz, the scene of Berlin’s 2016 Christmas market attack in which 13 people were killed. 

Twelve died after being rammed by a truck driven by Anis Amri, who had pledged allegiance to ISIS, while the 13th victim was the truck’s original driver – shot dead by Amri who then stole the vehicle. 

Germany has seen several such attacks since the deadly 2016 assault.

In December 2020, a German man ploughed his car through a pedestrian shopping street in the southwestern city of Trier, killing four adults and a baby.

Earlier the same year, a German man rammed his car through a carnival procession in the central town of Volkmarsen, injuring dozens of bystanders, including children. He was sentenced to life in jail last year.

In January 2019, another German national injured eight people when he drove into crowds on New Year’s Eve in the western cities of Bottrop and Essen. He was later taken into psychiatric care.

In April 2018, a German man crashed his van into people seated outside a restaurant in the city of Muenster, killing five before shooting himself dead. Investigators later said he had mental health problems.

During the football World Cup in Germany in 2006, a German man rammed his car into crowds gathered to watch a match at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, injuring some 20 people. The driver was later committed to a psychiatric hospital.

Police officers work at the scene after a car drove into a crowd of people in central Berlin, Germany

A police officer marks the crime scene at the accident site where a car ploughed into a crowd near Tauentzienstrasse in central Berlin

A view of the scene after a car drove into pedestrians in Berlin’s city center, Germany

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