This is the moment Berlin police arrested a 29-year-old German-Armenian man after he ploughed his car into crowds of shoppers early today, leaving at least one dead and 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.
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.
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.
The suspect, who lives in Berlin, is known to police for ‘property crime’, Bild reported.
A 51-year-old female teacher was killed, Welt reported, with her students – believed to be teenagers – among those hurt. A second teacher with the same class is said to have been seriously hurt. A pregnant woman also suffered a broken hip. Five people have life-threatening injuries while three are in serious condition, fire crews said.
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 up to 30 more 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
Actor John Barrowman 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 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 man 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 eight 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.