Four crime scenes, five wounded – "Clear intention to kill foreigners"
| Reading time: 4 minutes
A car driver sent his car in a pedestrian group on New Year's Eve in Bottrop.
- Five people were sometimes seriously injured. Researchers have evidence of a mental illness of the perpetrator.
- NRW Minister of the Interior Herbert Reul provides information on the subject. He says there was a "clear intention to kill foreigners".
DThe motorist, who intentionally hit several pedestrians in the Ruhr area, had the "clear intention to kill foreigners". That is what the North-Rhine Western Minister of the Interior Herbert Reul (CDU) said on Tuesday in Bottrop. The case must be "taken very seriously", which is determined under high pressure.
At least five people were injured while driving on New Year's Eve in Bottrop and Essen. A 46-year-old woman was temporarily in mortal danger, Reul said. Even a child was injured. Meanwhile, the police are talking about four crime scenes in Bottrop and Essen. Among the wounded are Syrians and Afghans.
The alleged perpetrator is a German. He deliberately drove four groups of people, who would largely consist of foreigners, said Minister of Home Affairs Reul. That had become clear by the interrogations. It was already clear that the man was mentally ill. According to WELT information, there is a lot that at the moment says that it was a spontaneous act that, among other things, had something to do with frustration based on one's own personal situation.
Mayor is shocked
It is "very concerned that something like that has happened", the Minister of the Interior added. Reul emphasized that in North Rhine-Westphalia there was "no tolerance" for violent offenders, "regardless of where they come from".
The prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet (CDU), also commented on the incident on Tuesday evening. His thoughts were with the wounded of the attack. "On this New Year's Day the resolution for 2019 is clearer than ever: we stand together against the right-of-way," he wrote on Twitter. "We will continue to fight against hatred against other people by all means of the rule of law."
Burgtroper's mayor Bernd Tischler (SPD) was "horrified and deeply touched" by the incident. He hoped the wounded would recover quickly, he explained.
The police chief of Recklinghausen, Friederike Zurhausen, said the man had not appeared to the police so far. It is unclear whether he is still in psychological treatment.
What you know about the course of the crime
The year 2019 was only a few minutes old. The people at the central Berliner Platz in Bottrop had hilariously celebrated, the next day an eyewitness reported. Then the man shows a video: you see the car entering the crowd. It rolls relatively slowly, so that relatively many people can still bring safety.
The police with explanations for the precise course of the action in the first instance. A first witness, according to authorities at 0.03 am on the silver car of the 50-year-old attentive. On a ramp to the center of Bottrop, the vehicle suddenly stopped the pedestrian, the researchers report. But the passerby was able to save himself.
The 50-year-old drove to the city center and a moment later a memorable incident took place on the Berliner Platz. The researchers want to reconstruct how the act has gone there with the aid of testimonies. But it is clear: the driver drove against a group of people who celebrated the new year. Among the wounded are Syrians and Afghans, as the researchers say.
A total of four times he deliberately launched people
Then the 50-year-old fled to the south in the direction of his home town of Essen. There he again tried deliberately to drive a group of people who were at a bus stop. Nothing happened as a result of a miracle. "Maybe people have run away, maybe they have not succeeded for other reasons, clarifying all this is now our job," said a spokeswoman for the police.
According to the latest findings, the man then tried a fourth time to drive in a group of people. It was a person who was slightly injured, he said.
A short time later the police arrested the man. He had already expressed himself xenophobically, the authorities said.