Belgium Attack

Victor Jay via AP

2 Police Officers, Bystander Killed In Apparent Terror Attack In Belgium

May 29, 2018 - 8:10 am

LIEGE, Belgium (WCBS 880/AP) — A knife-wielding man stabbed two female police officers in the Belgian city of Liege Tuesday, before stealing their handguns and shooting them both dead.

Liege police Chief Christian Beaupere said the attacker, whom he did not name, also wounded four other officers.

He said "the goal of the attacker was to target the police." Prosecutors fear the attack could be terror-related.

He said the policewomen were aged 45 and 53, the latter a mother of twins. The attacker also killed a passer-by before police fatally shot the gunman.

Prosecutor's office spokesman Philippe Dulieu said the attacker then shot dead a 22-year-old man in a vehicle parked nearby, and took a woman hostage in a school close to where the shooting took place outside a city cafe.

"Liege police intervened. He came out firing at police, wounding a number of them, notably in the legs. He was shot dead," the spokesman said.

A senior official at the federal prosecutor's office told The Associated Press that "there are indications it could be a terror attack."

Despite this, Belgium's crisis center said it saw no reason to raise the country's terror threat alert for now.

When asked about the report that the attack was terror-related, Liege city hall Michel Firket told the AP: "I know nothing formal about that. The police is doing its investigation. There are no formal conclusions."

A spokeswoman for the city mayor's office, Laurence Comminette, told the AP that the children at the school were all safe.

Prime Minister Charles Michel said only that "there was a serious incident." He was rushing to the crisis center to get more information.

Yves Stevens of Belgium's federal crisis center said that security in Liege is now under control, and that there was no reason yet to raise the national terror threat level.

"There is absolutely no confirmation yet that the incident is terror-related," Stevens told the AP.

Video posted on Twitter by a person claiming to be a witness showed people running in the area. About six gunshots could be heard.

The NYPD released a tweet in solidarity with police in Liege.

Belgian police and military have been on alert since suicide bombers killed 32 people at the Brussels airport and subway system in 2016.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)