Crime: Police officer dies after knife attack on Mannheim market square

Crime: Police officer dies after knife attack on Mannheim market square

He intervened to help – and paid with his life. The 29-year-old police officer who was attacked in the Mannheim knife attack is dead.

The police officer who was attacked in the knife attack on Mannheim’s market square has died of his injuries. This was announced by the Karlsruhe public prosecutor’s office, the Mannheim police headquarters and the State Criminal Police Office.

The attacker stabbed the 29-year-old officer several times in the head area. “He underwent emergency surgery immediately after the attack and was placed in an artificial coma, but succumbed to his serious injuries in the late afternoon hours of June 2,” the authorities said. “We mourn the loss of a police officer who gave his life for our safety.” Mannheim’s mayor Christian Specht (CDU) ordered flags to be flown at half-mast at the town hall from Monday.

The motive of the 25-year-old perpetrator is still unclear. The man, who was born in Afghanistan but came to Germany as a teenager in 2014, is not yet able to be questioned – he was also injured by a police shot after the attack. He has not previously come to the attention of the police; he is married, has two children and lives in Heppenheim, Hesse. In the attack, the man injured six men, including the police officer, on Friday morning at the event of the anti-Islam movement Pax Europa (BPE) on the market square in the city center. Among the injured is BPE board member Michael Stürzenberger.

Politicians pay tribute to top victims

“The news has shocked me to the core,” said Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann. His thoughts are with the family, relatives and colleagues, said the Green politician. “This terrible act painfully reminds us all of the often incalculable risks that police officers are exposed to every day.” The service that police officers provide to the state, the community and the free democratic basic order cannot be valued highly enough. “As a society, we owe them the utmost respect and appreciation.”

“These are moments when the world seems to stand still,” explained Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU). “The entire Baden-Württemberg police force will always and forever honor his memory.” The police officer was the victim of a brutal, bestial attack. “He gave his life because he stood up for protecting other people.”

“This young police officer had his whole life ahead of him,” said CDU state leader Manuel Hagel. “Nothing can ever heal this painful loss.” The entire country owes the young officer a deep debt of gratitude for his heroism.

Chancellor Scholz “deeply” dismayed

Numerous federal politicians were also shocked by the death of the young man. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed his “deep” dismay on X. “His commitment to the safety of us all deserves the highest recognition. In these bitter hours, my thoughts are with his family and all those who mourn him,” wrote the SPD politician.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said the police officer’s death made her “infinitely sad”. “He intervened courageously to save lives. He died in the service of our security,” stressed the SPD politician. CDU leader Friedrich Merz wrote on X: “The knife attack on Friday has today turned into an insidious murder. My thoughts are with the family. It is simply terrible.” FDP leader Christian Lindner, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Green Party leader Omid Nouripour and numerous other politicians also reacted with shock to the police officer’s death.

Anger at police union

The German Police Union reacted with shock, but also anger. “The violence we encounter every day is ruthlessly brutal, inhumane and often deadly,” said state head Ralf Kusterer. The campaigns against hate and incitement often do not even begin to address the problems that police officers have to endure every day. “Discussions about democracy and freedom of opinion do not reach perpetrators who are incapable of committing a crime or religious fanatics whose world of thought seems completely alien and absurd to us.” On the X platform, police authorities nationwide expressed their sadness over the death of their colleague under the hashtag #einervonuns.

Human chain and YES rally on Mannheim market square

In light of the knife attack, a cross-party alliance called for a vigil against violence and hatred in Mannheim on Sunday afternoon. At the same time, a rally by the Young Alternative took place on the market square. The meeting of the AfD youth organization was held under the motto “Remigration would have prevented this act!”.

Videos on the Internet show demonstrators forming a long human chain in the city center – and the police clashing with a group of Antifa activists. They waved red flags and lit flares. The slogan “Nazis out” was chanted on the market square.

Mannheim’s mayor Specht said the police officer’s death showed what hatred and incitement can do. But Specht also appealed to citizens: “I ask you all: Let us pause in the face of this tragic development and work together to unite our city society in all its diversity and avoid any division!”

Pax Europa movement wants to continue to appear publicly

According to BPE treasurer Stefanie Kizina, the attack was aimed specifically at 59-year-old Munich resident Stürzenberger. He has been an active critic of Islam for years and is being monitored by the Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Stürzenberger has since given a right-wing conservative media a video interview from his hospital bed – he had been stabbed to the face and thigh, among other things. Police officers provided first aid, he said. Stürzenberger told “Bild” that the attack was an “absolute nightmare” and that it came out of nowhere.

Even after the knife attack in Mannheim, the BPE wants to appear publicly at further events. Kizina assumes that the police will “tighten security measures”.

Scholz: We will not tolerate violence

In view of the knife attack and an assault on the CDU politician Roderich Kiesewetter, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a tough approach to violence. “Whether it is violence against democratic politicians who are active on the left, in the centre or on the right – it is always unacceptable and we will not tolerate it,” the SPD politician stressed on Sunday at the East German Economic Forum in Bad Saarow in Brandenburg. “We will take action against all those who try to restrict democratic space with violence,” he announced. This applies regardless of whether the motive is left-wing extremist, right-wing extremist or Islamist.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) and State Interior Minister Strobl also called for tough action against people who glorify the perpetrator’s attack online. “Glorifying the murderous knife attack is disgusting and inhumane. Anyone who does this must be prosecuted with the full force of the criminal law. Our security authorities are consistently pursuing this,” Faeser told “Bild am Sonntag”. Strobl told the newspaper: “Here, crimes – especially murder – are punished with the full force of the law and not celebrated.”

Source: Stern

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