A lone gunman armed with grenades opened fire on a square packed with children and Christmas shoppers in the eastern Belgian city of Liege on Tuesday, killing three people and wounding 75.
Officials named the gunman — who was himself also killed in circumstances that are not yet clear — as Nordine Amrani, 33, a known criminal who had been summoned by police that morning but who never showed up.
Among the three passers-by killed when Amrani went on his shooting spree near the city’s courthouse was a 15-year-old boy who died instantly and a 17-year-old boy and 75-year-old woman.
The lunchtime attack sent terrified residents running through the streets for their lives, fleeing into churches and shops as the gunman fired on a crowded square.
“We heard two huge deafening noises and then lots of explosions, people were running everywhere,” a baker named only as Patricia said on RTL-TV.
“We closed the door, turned off the lights and hid behind the counter with the customers.” The country’s federal crisis centre said it was neither a terrorist incident nor linked to a pending criminal trial.