Police shoot man with pickaxe before Euro match

By Hoang An   June 17, 2024 | 12:29 am PT
Police shoot man with pickaxe before Euro match
Police cordon off an area near the Reeperbahn in Hamburg after the incident on June 16, 2024. Photo by AP/Steven Hutchings
A man was shot by the police after he used a pickaxe to threaten fans before the game between the Netherlands and Poland in Hamburg, Germany, on Sunday.

About 40,000 Dutch football fans poured into the streets of Hamburg, preparing to watch the Euro 2024 opening match of their team against Poland at 8 p.m. (Hanoi time). Among them, thousands of fans flocked to the famous road of Reeperbahn, wearing orange jerseys, dancing and singing together on the street.

Suddenly, a man appeared with a pickaxe in his hand and threatened the Dutch fans. Police officers nearby used pepper spray to restrain the man but he refused to surrender. A police officer even had to give a warning shot. Eventually, the police had to open fire on him and took him down.

Hamburg police confirmed on social network X that the incident occurred in the St. Pauli District.

"A person threatened the police with a pickaxe and an incendiary device. The police had to open fire and injure the attacker. He's receiving medical attention," Hamburg police said in a statement.

According to German newspaper Bild, there was something similar to a Molotov cocktail in the suspect’s backpack, as he intended to throw it in the crowd. That’s why the police had to open fire and shoot the attacker in the leg, seriously injuring him. Hundreds of anti-riot police appeared in the area and the road of Reeperbahn was also blocked.

To ensure security for Euro 2024, host Germany send 22,000 police to work every day. Around 200 officers were stationed near the scene at Hamburg, along with federal police. German media did not confirm any more injuries, except for the attacker. After the incident, Dutch fans were instructed to move to another route where they continued their parade.

The game ended with a 2-1 victory for Netherlands.

The motive of the attacker has not been announced.

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