German police shot a man allegedly threatening them with an ax in a city hosting Euro 2024 match

The Nightly
Police have neutralised a suspect with a hammer and a molotov cocktail near a fan complex at the famous Reeperbahn in Hamburg.
Police have neutralised a suspect with a hammer and a molotov cocktail near a fan complex at the famous Reeperbahn in Hamburg. Credit: X formerly Twitter/X formerly Twitter

Images have emerged of the terrifying moment a hammer-wielding attacker armed with a firebomb turns on German police before being shot near a designated fan zone in Hamburg, the same day the city hosted a Euro 24 football match.

Police said they shot the 39-year-old near Hamburg’s Reeperbahn, a street popular with tourists in the heart of the northern port city’s nightlife district.

The man was hit in the leg by an officer on Sunday afternoon and received medical treatment, a police spokesman said.

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Police described the suspect as a 39-year-old German.

He was not named in line with German privacy laws.

Images posted to X, formerly Twitter, showed police cornering the stocky assailant after neutralising him with pepper spray.

He then turns on officers with the hammer, which police originally reported as an axe, before he is chased down and shot.

The incident raised major alarm as Hamburg is one of 10 German cities hosting Euro 2024 football matches.

Poland squared off there against the Netherlands on Sunday.

The man may have acted in a state of mental distress, police told a press conference in Hamburg on Sunday evening.

There were no indications of his motivation.

Initial reports said the man wielded a small axe but on Sunday evening, police said he was brandishing a roofing hammer.

A police spokesman said earlier that initial indications suggested “no football connection” and that the man acted alone.

The police operation was just a short walk away from the city’s official fan zone.

Police said football fans there were “well-protected” and never in danger.

Tens of thousands of Dutch supporters earlier marched down the streets of the St Pauli nightlife district, where the Reeperbahn is located.

Police have neutralised a suspect with an axe near a fan complex at the famous Reeperbahn in Hamburg, where thousands of fans are gathering today due to the match between the national teams of Holland and Poland. 
pictured: This is the dramatic moment armed German police close in on an axeman near a Euros fan zone today before shooting him
This is the dramatic moment armed German police close in on the assailant near the Euros fan zone. Credit: X formerly Twitter/X formerly Twitter

According to police and images posted to X, formerly Twitter, the man had come out of a pub on a street adjacent to the Reeperbahn with what was initially described as a pickaxe.

He waved the tool at police officers in a “threatening manner,” according to the spokesman’s account.

He was also carrying a Molotov cocktail.

Police asked him to put down the tool.

He put it down and then tried to light the Molotov cocktail, a police spokeswoman explained.

After police issued several warnings, the officers opened fire and shot him in the leg.

He received immediate medical attention and was taken to hospital.

Video footage circulating on social media showed the man threatening several people.

He tried to climb a barrier in front of several police officers.

He can be heard yelling at the police officers to “shoot”.

The man can be seen running towards other people and tried to ignite the Molotov cocktail.

Police have neutralised a suspect with an axe near a fan complex at the famous Reeperbahn in Hamburg, where thousands of fans are gathering today due to the match between the national teams of Holland and Poland. 
PICTURED: He turns his back as he is doused in pepper spray and runs up the street as passers-by scurry across the road
The assailant turns his back as he is doused in pepper spray and runs up the street as passers-by run across the road. Credit: X formerly Twitter/X formerly Twitter

Officers initially used pepper spray before several shots are fired.

The crime scene was cordoned off by police on Sunday afternoon.

Police said no other people or officers were injured.

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