Belgian Spree Killer Committed Suicide
Police in Belgium set the record straight about the fate of the lone gunman armed with grenades who went on a killing spree in the city of Liege, saying he shot himself in the head after slaying four and wounding around 120.
"Nordine Amrani committed suicide with a bullet to the head," said Daniele Reynders at a press conference. "He left no message to explain his act."
"There are no elements present to suggest there was any terrorist motive" Reynders said, adding that in Amrani's numerous brushes with the law his "stability was never in question."
The statement cleared conflicting accounts of the 33-year-old with a long criminal record’s final end. Media had speculated he may have been killed by police or when a fourth grenade he was carrying exploded accidentally.
Police found nine magazines, a hand-gun, an automatic rifle, and several grenades on Amrani, Reynders said.
Two teenagers and a baby of 17 months died in Amrani's afternoon grenade and gun murder-frenzy in Liege's central square. The baby was the latest victim after succumbing to injuries overnight, while a 75-year-old woman previously reported dead was reported to be alive and in critical condition.
Police on Thursday also discovered the body of a dead cleaning woman in a shed used by Amrani to stash cannabis plants and illegal weapons.
Belgium's Home Affairs Minister, Joelle Milquet, said around 120 were injured in Amrani's attack. Milquet broke off European Union talks to rush to Liege along with King Albert and Queen Paola, and Belgium's new Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo.
Paroled just over a year ago for drug offences, Amrani had been summoned by police on the morning of the attack, but never showed up. Instead, Amrani drove to the central Saint Lambert square, climbed onto the roof of a bakery and lobbed grenades into packed bus shelters before opening fire on the panicked crowd.
"He liked arms and had a record but he was a very poised, very calm man," said one of his former lawyers — who goes by the same surname but is not related — Abdul Hadi Amrani.
"I would never have expected him to be behind the drama in Liege," he told RTBF television. "He must have snapped."