Chicago Police Presence Increases at Christkindlmarket After Truck Plows Into Berlin Market

The Chicago Police Department will be increasing its presence at the city's popular Christkindlmarket after a truck plowed into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin on Monday, killing at least 12 people.

"Our heartfelt thoughts go out to the first responders and all of those whose loved ones were affected by today's tragedy in Berlin," the market, which operates two locations in Chicago's Daley Plaza and in suburban Naperville, said in a statement.

"The Chicago Police Department is closely monitoring events in Berlin and we are in regular communication with our federal and international partners," Chicago Police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi tweeted. "While there is no threat to the city or the greater area, CPD will be adding police resources to Daley Plaza including additional foot and bike patrols and specialized units."

"We continue to work closely with the Cook County Sheriff's Office and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications as well as with federal partners to ensure an optimal level of public safety throughout the holiday season," he added. "As always, we encourage individuals who observe any suspicious or questionable activity to call 911 or report it to your closest police officer."

At least nine people were killed and several others injured when the truck rammed into the capital's popular market at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, according to police. 

A suspect believed to be the driver of a truck was arrested near the scene, a Berlin police spokesperson said, while another occupant of the truck was pronounced dead. 

Footage of the scene showed a large truck on the sidewalk with its windshield smashed, and a swarm of ambulances nearby. A large Christmas tree with a gold star on top was toppled over nearby in the street.

Witness Mike Fox told The Associated Press that the truck missed him by only about three meters as it drove into the market, tearing through tables and wooden stands.

"It was definitely deliberate," said the tourist from England.

He said he helped people who appeared to have broken limbs, and that others were trapped under Christmas stands. A woman tweeting from the scene in English said people were crushed. 

In a brief update on Twitter, police said they were still investigating whether the incident was an accident or an attack. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us