In what may be the second vehicle-based terrorist attack in Germany in as many months, moments ago the German police reported that a man rammed his car into a pedestrian area in a central square in the city of Heidelberg, injuring three people - one seriously - then fled armed with a knife, and was subsequently shot after being tracked down by officers.
The incident occurred in Heidelberg’s central square at around 4PM local time when a car deliberately drove into a group of people standing in front of a local bakery, German media report.
Police spokesperson Anne Baas said one of the three people hit was seriously injured.
In a statement police said the suspect was seen to get out of the vehicle with a knife and was later tracked down to a swimming pool with the help of eyewitnesses. He is now in a hospital in Heidelberg having been shot by police while being arrested, leaving him seriously injured, they said.
There was no immediate word on the man’s possible motives, but as the BBC adds, terrorism is not suspected, police say. Also, according to local media reports, the attacker was "mentally unstable patient."
However, German police dismissed media reports that the suspect could be mentally ill. Police spokesman Norbert Schaetzle called such reports “speculation” and stressed he could not “confirm” them in comments to Germany's N24 TV Channel. “We are working on the identification of the suspect right now… and on establishing his motives,” he said. He added that there was “no evidence suggesting that it was a terrorist attack."
The car used by the suspect was a rented one and had Hamburg vehicle registration places, the media report. Police have not identified the suspect so far. However, police say they have no evidence proving that the incident was a terrorist attack, dpa news agency reports. The suspect reportedly acted alone.
The following video shows the suspect being shot by the police moments after the attack.
Investigations by the public prosecutors' office in Heidelberg and the town's criminal police were continuing.
If this is confirmed as a terrorist attack, it would be the second to take place two months after a truck driver rammed into a Berlin Christmas market on December 19, killing 12 and injuring dozens of people.