BERLIN – A man armed with a long knife killed three people and injured several others, some seriously, in the southern city of Würzburg on Friday before he was shot and arrested by the police, authorities in Germany said.
It was unclear how many people were injured in the attack in a central part of the Bavarian city with around 130,000 inhabitants between Munich and Frankfurt.
The police identified the suspect as a 24-year-old Somali who lives in Würzburg. His life was not in danger from his gunshot wound, it said.
Videos posted on social media showed pedestrians surrounding the attacker and holding him in check with chairs and sticks.
Download the. down NBC news app for breaking news and politics
A woman who said she had observed the incident told German RTL television that the police then intervened.
“He had a really big knife with him and was attacking people,” said Julia Runze. “And then a lot of people tried to throw chairs or umbrellas or cell phones at him and stop him. The police then came up to him and I think a shot was fired, you could hear that clearly.”
Police spokeswoman Kerstin Kunick said the officers were alerted around 5 p.m. Local time (1 p.m. ET) to a knife attack on Barbarossa Square in the center of town.
Bavaria’s governor Markus Söder was shocked by the news of the attack. “We mourn the victims and their families,” he wrote on Twitter.
The police said on Twitter that there was no danger to the population. They declined to provide any further information immediately and urged social media users to refrain from speculating.
Bavaria’s top security officer, Joachim Herrmann, traveled to the city on Friday.