A van crashes into crowd in the western Germany city of Muenster, killing 3 and injuring 20 people. The driver committed suicide inside the vehicle, according to German authorities.
Police said a motive remains unclear. German authorities told NBC News that there is no indication that the incident is related to Islamic extremism and police added that the investigation is ongoing. Investigators noted that they were not actively seeking any additional suspects, but they were looking into all eyewitness when van crashes into crowd.
The suspect was a German citizen who had recently made a suicide attempt. The van was registered under the suspect’s name, according to ZDF News.
The leading theory is that the man was suicidal. German police are also looking into his ties to right-wing extremists, according to law enforcement officials.
The incident happened around 3:30 p.m. local time in the Kiepenkerl area of the city center. Muenster Police tweeted Saturday afternoon that citizens should avoid the center where a police operation is underway.
Police said they were on the scene and emergency services were attending to the injured. They asked the public to only trust information provided by German officials. They confirmed that there was not a bomb squad on the scene.
A deputy spokeswoman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ulrike Demmer, tweeted “our thoughts are with the victims and their families.” She described the incident Saturday “terrible news.”
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that federal authorities are maintaining close contact with local law enforcement. He shared his condolences.
“I’m shocked to find out about the terrible incident in Muenster of western Germany,” he said. “My thoughts are with the victims and their families and friends.