The Wiener-Zeitung newspaper confirms that three pedestrians were killed and 36 more were injured in Saturday’s attack on the Graz city center, which was hosting events related to the Formula One Austrian Grand Prix. Police report that the suspect, Alen Rizvanović, has had struggles with mental health issues.
According to The Daily Mail, Rizvanović was been taken into custody immediately following the attack. Rizvanović is a 26-year-old Bosnian-born Austrian and a father of two. A restraining order had been filed against Rizvanović over a domestic violence report last month, keeping him away from his wife and two children, according to news reports.
Police Director Josef Klamminger told the Wiener-Zeitung that the suspect willingly surrendered to police and likely suffers from mental health issues, explaining that Rizvanović was not part of any organized terrorist movement. “It is a psychosis with output in family life,” Klamminger told the Wiener-Zeitung, as translated by Google.
Police told the Wiener-Zeitung that questioning the alleged driver was not possible the day of the attack due to Rizvanović’s mental state. The man was unable to answer several of the questions doctors and police had for him. Police will decide if they will provisionally detain Rizvanović in a mental hospital until his trial on Monday or Tuesday of this week.
The Daily Mail reports the driver sped towards an outdoor dining area in Graz’s main square. One of the deceased was on a bicycle when they were struck by the car. The driver then got out of the car and attacked a couple with a knife.
“He raced through the front of the restaurant without braking,” witness Simone Zucca was quoted as saying in The Daily Mail. Zucca works as a waitress at the Pronto restaurant on the main square. “He then caught a boy who was thrown against the wall.”
Per Klamminger in the Wiener-Zeitung, 50 ambulances, 16 paramedics and numerous doctors who happened to be at the square went into action to get injured pedestrians the help they needed. Crisis intervention teams later arrived on the site to help as well.
As of yesterday, the Wiener-Zeitung reports that three injured adults from the scene remain in critical condition. Two children were put into intensive care following the incident, however, both are now in stable condition.
The Daily Mail reports that the three deceased victims include a four-year-old boy, a woman and a man named Adisa. Mourners who gathered in the Graz square placed photos of Adisa with his wife among the candles. Adisa was married two weeks ago. His wife was with him that day, and was also injured in the attack.
For now, the city remains in shock. “The city is like an open wound,” Austrian interior minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner told the Wiener-Zeitung of the crime scene.
Die Welt reports that over 600 mourners gathered at a local church to pay their respects at a memorial held after the attack. The city of Graz has opened up an online book of condolences for the victims and their families.
Photo credits: AP Images
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.