An international manhunt ended in a fatal holiday shootout Friday.
Earlier this week, 12 people were killed when a truck crashed into a Berlin Christmas market. This morning, the man suspected of killing a dozen and injuring over 50 in the public attack was shot dead in Milan.
Italy’s interior minister Marco Minniti told the Associated Press that the man killed in the police shootout is “without a shadow of a doubt” Anis Amri (pictured above), the Tunisian fugitive being searched for in the Europe-wide manhunt.
According to The Guardian, Minniti says the 24-year-old fugitive pulled out a gun when officers on patrol decided he looked suspicious and asked for his papers.
After being pressed for his papers, Amri reportedly shot one officer before being fatally gunned down by police. The officer who was shot down suffered non-life threatening injuries and is currently recovering in the hospital.
Minniti said there was “no doubt” the man killed was Amri, explaining in a press conference:
“The person who attacked our police officers was killed. There is absolutely no doubt that the person who was killed was Anis Amri, the suspect in the terrorist attack in Berlin.”
Officials say the dead man’s identity was confirmed via his fingerprints, and a train ticket found on the body suggests he took a high-speed train from France to Turin before taking a local train to the Milan area, where he was caught.
Italy’s new prime minister, Paolo Gentiloni, reportedly called German Chancellor Angela Merkel to tell her the attacker had been killed.
Merkel later spoke in a press conference, saying the German Interior Ministry was “relieved” the suspect didn’t pose a threat anymore, saying:
“We can be relieved that one acute threat has come to an end but the threat that comes from terrorism – that is a general threat – continues.”
German security official Holger Muench told press the suspect “has come up in the past” and has been linked to an extremist recruitment network aimed at steering people to the Islamic State group in Syria.
According to The New York Times, The Islamic State released a video on Friday that Amri had recorded prior to the attack, in which he proclaimed loyalty to the group’s leader and declared he was retaliating for coalition airstrikes that have killed civilians.
[Image via German Federal Police.]