Euro 2024 chaos: Police shoot man with axe threatening football fans in Hamburg

German police in Hamburg
German police flocked to the scene in Hamburg
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James Saunders

By James Saunders


Published: 16/06/2024

- 12:14

Updated: 16/06/2024

- 13:37

Armed police descended on Hamburg's Reeperbahn, just outside a Euros 'fan zone' - before 'severely injuring' the axeman

Armed police have descended on streets outside a Euro 2024 fan zone in Germany after an axe-wielding man began threatening football supporters ahead of a Netherlands vs Poland game.

Officers swarmed to the scene, and have reportedly shot the would-be attacker - leaving him "severely injured".


The attacker, wielding a pickaxe and a "Molotov cocktail"-style incendiary device, also threatened officers as they policed fans on the Reeperbahn, a major road in Hamburg's St Pauli district.

Rory Smith, a New York Times football journalist who was at the scene, said: "Police have closed the Reeperbahn in Hamburg, not far from the fan zone, where there are thousands of Dutch fans.

Attacker with weapons circled

The man could be seen holding an axe and a Molotov cocktail ahead of the Netherlands-Poland game

Reuters

German police with attacker circled

Police fired shots after the man appeared to prepare to light the cocktail

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Police swarm attacker

After a volley of shots, the attacker fell to the ground

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"[There were] four loud bangs and then hundreds of riot police moved in."

Smith later added: "I heard four bangs and was about 20 yards away, so would suggest that the man was shot three times."

Officers had begun to use pepper spray against the axeman before opting to use their weapons, German outlet Bild reported.

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\u200bPolice officers guard a cordoned off area on Silbersackstrasse

Police officers guard a cordoned off area on Silbersackstrasse after an attacker was shot down by police officers

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German police in Hamburg

German police flocked to the scene in Hamburg

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And police said that one officer initially fired a warning shot to stop the attacker - before several more rounds were let off until the man finally fell to the ground.

Additional footage from the scene shows the attacker apparently attempting to light the "Molotov cocktail" before police shot him.

One witness at the scene, a Dutch football fan, praised the police response, saying officers "acted sharply and quickly".

The man has since been taken from the scene in an ambulance.

German police/Dutch fans

Dutch football fans had descended on Hamburg in their thousands before the incident took place

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Dutch fans in Hamburg

Thousands of fans will be marching on the city's Volksparkstadion later today

Reuters

Dutch football supporters had descended on Hamburg in droves ahead of their nation's Group D opener against Poland.

The game is set to kick off at 2pm UK time - and thousands of fans will be marching on the city's Volksparkstadion as sporting proceedings get underway.

Fan marches like today's are typically scheduled ahead of the games, and a parade for Dutch supporters was being held at 12.30 pm (11.30am UK time), around the time of the incident.

Germany is hosting the month-long tournament - which began on Friday night as the hosts smashed Scotland 5-1.

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