Three seriously injured and one man is still struggling with life – that is the bloody record of an attack in a Duisburg gym late Tuesday afternoon. The perpetrator is still on the run the day after the crime, the police published a description of the man. In the Ruhr area city, the investigations continued on Wednesday. This is known so far – about the course of the crime, the victims and the perpetrator:

The police in Duisburg received the first emergency calls around 5.40 p.m. At least one person injured several people with a long knife, possibly a machete, at the John Reed gym in the old town across from City Hall, the callers reported. According to media reports, the crime happened in a changing room. After the emergency calls, the police triggered an amok alarm, special forces and several patrol cars raced into the old town. As planned in such cases, the Essen police headquarters took over the management of the operation.

Heavily armed officers combed and secured the commercial building on Schwanenstrasse. “The situation is currently still unclear,” said the police. “We ask the population to avoid the area around Schwanenstrasse.” Four injured were treated by rescue workers. At the same time, the search for “at least” one perpetrator began.

The injured were taken to the hospital after the attack. In the evening it said: “Three of the victims are seriously injured, one victim is life-threatening.” Nothing changed in it until Wednesday morning. Three of the injured were operated on. According to the Duisburg public prosecutor’s office, the victims have not yet been able to make any statements. According to the information, they are four men aged 21, 24, 24 and 32, all German nationals. Other visitors to the gym were looked after by pastors. According to Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), eyewitnesses reported victims with stab wounds and people who fled the building in panic.

Almost nothing was known about this many hours after the fact. Authorities didn’t even say how many people they were looking for. “We are currently unable to publish a serious description of the perpetrator. Some witnesses are still being questioned,” the officials said about five hours after the crime.

On Wednesday morning, the darkness cleared a bit – the investigators assumed that it was a single male perpetrator, said a police spokesman, who published a preliminary description of the person:

When asked by stern on Wednesday morning, a spokeswoman for the Essen police was unable to say whether there were also video recordings from inside the fitness studio that could possibly be used for a public search.

Customers enter the fitness studio with a chip card via a turnstile. The investigators do not yet know whether the perpetrator or perpetrators jumped the turnstile or were admitted with a ticket.

The Duisburg public prosecutor initiated an investigation. The exact allegation is not yet clear, said the spokeswoman for the police. As is usual in such large-scale situations, the police set up a special organizational structure to organize the investigations.

Investigators interviewed numerous witnesses in the hours after the crime. Forensic officers in protective suits were still on site that night and the following morning in the multi-storey building in Duisburg’s old town. There is a “large amount of evidence,” said the spokeswoman. The aim of the investigators: to reconstruct the course of the crime as precisely as possible. The police said they were investigating the case with “high pressure”. Reporters reported that an increased police presence in the Ruhr city was also noticeable on Wednesday. A helicopter was also used after the crime, and according to WDR, snipers also took up positions in the meantime.

The police did not confirm that the perpetrators and at least one of the victims knew each other, as reported by “Spiegel”. “We continue to investigate in all directions,” said the police spokeswoman to the star. A shooting with random victims cannot be ruled out either. “We have a great dynamic in the case,” emphasized the officer.

The police have not yet been able to provide any more specific information about the murder weapon. “We assume a cutting or stabbing weapon,” it said.

The investigators are looking for other witnesses to the crime and have activated a reference portal on the Internet, also for uploading photo or video files. Every police station also accepts tips.

“We very much regret the incident in our club in Duisburg and hope that the victims will recover quickly,” wrote John Reed Fitness at the request of the DPA news agency. “The safety and health of our members and our employees are our top priority. Our goal is for them to feel safe and in good hands in our studios.” They support the police investigations in all possible places.

Bundestag President Bärbel Bas, who represents a constituency in Duisburg, was dismayed by the attack. “Terrible,” wrote the SPD politician on Twitter. “My thoughts are with the injured. I hope that the emergency services will soon be able to clarify the threatening situation.”

Sources: Essen police information, Essen police press release, Essen police Twitter channel, West German Broadcasting Corporation, “Spiegel”, Bärbel Bas on Twitter, DPA and AFP news agencies