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Video footage of Graz car rampage shown
Photo: ORF screenshot
25 June 2015
Shocking video footage of the moment a “mentally unbalanced” man ploughed his car at high speed through a pedestrian shopping street in Graz has been broadcast on Austrian TV.
The footage from a security camera shows moments from a peaceful Saturday lunchtime – people sitting outside a cafe, a young woman pushing a pram down Graz’s Herrengasse. Suddenly people are seen running in panic and taking shelter in shops. A green SUV comes hurtling down the street.
Driver Alen R. (26) killed three people, including a four year old boy, and injured 34 others. Two of his victims are still in intensive care.
Ein erstes Video von d Amokfahrt in Graz. Das zeigt mit welcher Geschwindigkeit er durch d Herrengasse raste pic.twitter.com/KOZs3diFNC
A silent memorial march is being held for the victims in central Graz on Sunday and police have said they expect around 20,000 people to attend. The route of the march will follow Alen R’s deadly journey – through Griesplatz, Grazbachgasse, and Herrengasse.
Security will be high, with 100 police officers on duty, to prevent “any copycat crimes” police commander Kurt Kemeter said. “It will be a peaceful, reverent event – but any large gatherings carry risk” he added. Graz’s main square has capacity for 10,000 people and video screens will be set up in Herrengasse so that people can view the memorial service.
Although police were quick to rule out a terrorist or political motive for the attack, saying that Alen R. showed symptoms of psychosis when he was first questioned, the internet is rife with speculation about his Muslim background and a possible connection to radical Islam.
However, none of these rumours have been confirmed by the police. Reports that an eyewitness heard him shouting “Allahu akbar” were dismissed by police spokesman Rene Kornberger.
The suspect's wife told police that the couple had had marital problems because he wasviolent towards her and wanted her to wear a headscarf, against her will.
Alen R. is now being examined by a psychiatric expert and police are focussing their investigations on his home and laptop to determine whether the attack was premeditated.
One of his victims, a woman aged between 25 and 35 who died in front of the parish church, has still not been identified.
Police are asking any witnesses who were injured in the attack but were not treated in hospital to contact them by email at LPD-ST-LKA-HINWEISE@polizei.gv.at.
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