The Berlin Christmas Market Attack Suspect Was Reportedly Shot Dead In Italy — REPORT
According to a report from Italian news magazine Panorama, the suspect in the Berlin Christmas market attack has been shot in Milan. Italian news agency Ansa reported that the man allegedly pulled a gun on two police officers when they stopped him for a routine traffic stop. When the suspect shot at the officers, they reportedly returned fire. This left one policeman injured, and the suspect fatally shot.
The shooting happened on Friday morning, and now the Italian Interior Minister, Marco Minniti, has confirmed that the man shot was indeed the suspect in the Berlin attack. Minniti also praised the Italian policemen for their service, calling it "extraordinary" and saying that "[Italian] security is working really well."
This marks a major success for European security forces after a week of much confusion when it came to the suspect's whereabouts. As of Friday morning, there was one report from German police saying that he was most likely still in Berlin, and another from Denmark saying that someone matching his description had been sighted in the city of Aalborg. The last confirmed sighting before the shootout in Milan was on Tuesday in Berlin, only hours after the attack.
The horrific Christmas market attack on Monday evening, which left 12 dead and 49 injured, put Germany in a state of high alert. German police also apprehended two Kosovar men in the city of Duisberg on the suspicion that they were planning another attack, although they could find no connection between this planned attack and the one in Berlin.
1. L’aggressore di Milano fermato da volante del commissariato Sesto San Giovanni durante un normale servizio di controllo del territorio pic.twitter.com/GmdIK0M9WS— Polizia di Stato (@poliziadistato) December 23, 2016
According to the latest report from Italy, the suspect had reached Milan by train via Chambery, France, and Turin, Italy. German authorities are also holding a press conference on the subject of the shooting, and German officials are on the receiving end of pressure from journalists over the suspect's ability to move freely before and after the attack. This is especially surprising, as he had been identified as a potential source of danger as soon as he arrived in Germany in 2015. Although deportation orders had been issued, he had ignored them.
As it stands at the moment, German authorities have now seconded the Italian confirmation that the man fatally wounded was indeed the suspect in the attack, based on fingerprint evidence. Italian authorities have said that they will not release any more detailed information on the story at the moment, as their investigation is still continuing.