Hamburg Police Shoot Axe-Wielding Suspect After Attack Threat

A man armed with a pickaxe and a Molotov cocktail threatened law enforcement officers, the authorities have said

On Sunday, a man armed with an axe and a Molotov cocktail attempted to attack officers and pedestrians on a busy street in the center of Hamburg, Germany. The incident occurred ahead of the 2024 UEFA European Football Championship match between the Netherlands and Poland.

According to German media, the suspect emerged from a cafe near Reeperbahn Street. Police stated in a statement on X (formerly Twitter) that he was carrying “a pickaxe and an incendiary device.” The man threatened officers, prompting them to open fire, the statement said, adding that the attacker was injured and “receiving medical treatment.” The police did not report any other individuals being affected by the incident.

Authorities have not officially commented on either the suspect’s identity or his possible motive. Videos circulating on social media show a man dressed in black, wearing a backpack, approaching officers cordoning off a Hamburg street and shouting at them. He can be seen holding what appears to be an axe in one hand and a Molotov cocktail in the other.

The man then turns away from the police and runs after some pedestrians, causing officers to pursue him and open fire. The attacker can then be seen falling to the ground.

The incident took place around the same time that Dutch football fans held a march in the city ahead of their national team’s match against Poland. According to German media, the event had already ended by the time the shooting took place. The Reeperbahn is also more than a kilometer away from the official fan zone.

“There is no indication that there is any connection to football,” a police spokesperson told journalists.