Police on Wednesday thanked a young man for arresting a knife attacker on a bus in the western German city of Bonn, possibly saving the lives of victims.
“It is a matter of life and death,” Bonn police chief Frank Hoever said at a ceremony thanking 28-year-old observer Ahmad Al-Sheikh.
According to eyewitness accounts and security camera footage, Al-Sheikh was driving a bus and was about to reach his stop when the commotion began behind the bus ..
The 28-year-old said he then saw a man repeatedly stabbing another man who was lying on the floor.
Al-Sheikh ran to the back of the bus, where he pulled the attacker away from the victim and pinned him to the handle until police arrived at the scene.
At that time, he and two others nearby gave first aid to the victim.
Al-Sheikh is currently completing a training program in Bonn to qualify as an anesthesiology assistant.
Helper was born in Syria
“He detained the attacker until the police arrived and of course prevented this from happening,” said police spokesman Frank Piontek.
“I didn’t think twice about that,” Al Sheikh said. “I have to help the young man. I hope he gets well soon.”
Al Sheik came to Germany from Syria in 2016.
The motive is unclear
According to the Bonn transportation authority, the driver did not know what was happening behind the bus. After the passenger told him about the attack, he stopped the bus and contacted authorities.
At the scene, paramedics treated the 22-year-old victim before taking him to the hospital. His doctors said that he had left intensive care but would need to remain in hospital for now.
The 55-year-old assailant is being held in police custody. The reason for the attack is still unclear.
Knife attacks such as the one in Bonn have featured prominently in European media in recent years, with right-wing parties often linking their supposed trends with immigration. However, a report from the German news site Tagesschau in April said there was no clear pattern of increasing attacks in Germany.
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