Officers killed in Belgium shooting were women, police chief confirms

Police at the scene of the shooting in Liege

A gunman shot dead two police officers and a passenger in a auto Tuesday in Liege, a city some 100 km east of the Belgian capital Brussels, authorities said.

Federal prosecutors, for their part, said that there was evidence that they were dealing with "terrorist murder", adding that Mr Herman appeared to have responded to online calls from the terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) to stab police officers and use their service weapons to cause carnage.

A bomb squad arrives at the scene following a shooting in Liege, Belgium on Tuesday. The shooter, Belgian national Benjamin Herman, also took a woman hostage during his rampage on Tuesday, and Jambon said she may have talked him down and helped to avoid more deaths inside the school. Officials later confirmed that Herman had also killed another person on Monday.

Herman served time for petty crimes but authorities said he may have been radicalized while in jail and was reportedly in touch with people who were radicalized in recent years.

"When I walked by his door, he was on his couch, his face unrecognizable, full of blood", Sabrina Chasseur, a neighbor of Wilmet's, told the outlet.

"He is not a clear-cut case, on the contrary", Mr Geens said. "He used the weapons on the officers, who died", Dulieu told reporters. Attack an act of terror Meanwhile, Belgian investigators said they are treating the attack as an act of terrorism even as they scrambled to unpick the Herman's motives. Lucile Garcia, 45, was the head of the police corps and her 56-year-old colleague was a twin mother.

Dulieu said the attacker then shot and killed a 22-year-old man in a vehicle who was leaving a parking space outside a nearby high school. The gunman was then shot and killed, officials said. The attacker was later killed by police.

Michel Firket from Liege city hall told The Associated Press that "beyond the attacker, who was shot, there are three dead, two police officials and a passer-by".

She said that when police ignored her request at the behest of Herman to leave, he threw his identity card out.

The main ceremony was in Liege itself where Prime Minister Charles Michel and Interior Minister Jan Jambon joined local dignitaries and police to honor the two policewomen who were stabbed and shot to death and the aspiring teacher who was killed in his auto. One video showed two police in body armour moving into position.

Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel has said that his thoughts were with the families of the victims after the "serious incident", describing the attacks as "cowardly and blind violence".

Nevertheless, Belgium's crisis center said the country's terror threat alert would not be raised and remained at level 2 out of 4.



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