Germany: Stabbing spree at fitness center in Duisburg leaves 4 injured, manhunt underway for suspect

By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

Several people were injured in a stabbing spree at a fitness center in the western German city of Duisburg on Tuesday evening, and a manhunt is underway for the perpetrator who fled the scene.

A mass police presence secured the crime scene at around 5:40 p.m. local time, including a special operations command, and a police helicopter was deployed to circle the streets.

Germany’s Bild newspaper reported that at least four individuals aged in their early 20s to early 30s have been injured, three of whom are considered to be seriously wounded. It is understood the attack occurred in one of the changing rooms of the John Reed fitness chain.

Several paramedics and ambulances were also on-site to tend to the victims, all four of whom are German citizens.

Eyewitnesses told local media of an attacker equipped with a large knife or what could have been a machete.

Police stormed the building but were unable to locate the attacker.

“We ask the population to avoid the affected area in the old town,” a police spokesperson warned.

A motive for the attack has not yet been established, and investigators told Deutsche Welle late on Tuesday evening that no arrests have been made. They also confirmed they are searching for “at least one suspect.” Several unconfirmed reports suggest there may have been multiple attackers.

Police from the nearby city of Essen are leading the operation and have established a media contact point in front of Duisburg City Hall where eyewitnesses are being questioned.

The victims were initially tended to at the scene but have now been transferred to a nearby hospital.

Baerbel Bas, the president of the German parliament who is from Duisburg, tweeted his shock at the attack on Tuesday evening. “Terrible. My thoughts are with the injured. I hope that the emergency services will soon be able to clear up the threatening situation.”

On Wednesday, local police published a press release giving a description of one suspect.

“The man can now be described as about 30 years old with a southern appearance. He is about 1.80 m tall, has a normal stature and a long black beard.

“He is said to have been wearing a dark long-sleeved sweater and dark pants. He also wore a black cap with the visor turned forward.”

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