Published: Fri, June 01, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Belgian shooter killed fourth person before attack, minister says

Belgian shooter killed fourth person before attack, minister says

Prosecutors say they are treating the attacks as "terrorist murder".

Police subsequently killed the gunman in a shootout after he entered a nearby high school and took a woman hostage.

He spent most of his time in prison since 2003 and was on a two-day leave when he launched his attack.

He yelled "Allahu akbar", the Arabic phrase for God is great, several times during Tuesday's rampage, including when he ran out to face police the last time, prosecutors said.

As Herman came out shooting and again shouting "Allahu akbar", he was shot dead by officers.

Mr Jambon said Herman killed the former inmate by hitting him over the head with a blunt object.

Belgian outlet Le Soir reported Thursday that a report drafted by a prison guard a few days before the attack warned Herman had befriended a radicalized inmate known to be an accomplice of the suicide bomber behind the Brussels terror attacks in 2016.

Soraya Belkacemi, 53, and Lucille Garcia, 45, also had their handguns stolen by Herman, who then shot them in the back. Four officers were wounded.

"The question of whether this man should have been given leave is striking because he killed three completely innocent people with a wish to kill himself", said Geens. Did the attacker sneak up on two police-women before murdering them?

After killing the two officers, the attacker continued walking through the street and opened fire on a parked vehicle, fatally wounding the driver inside, Dulieu said.

Francois Lenoir / Reuters A police officer is seen on the scene of a shooting in Liege, Belgium, May 29, 2018.

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The judge in that case told him that he would be imprisoned if he committed "a further contempt of court by similar actions". Contempt of court is the crime of ignoring the court and its constitutional role in making sure that justice is done.

Herman attacked the two officers with a knife, taking their service weapons and shooting them dead.

The attack has shaken Belgium.

A gunman killed three people, including two police officers, in the Belgian city of Liege on Tuesday. He has been sentenced on assault, drug and insubordination charges.

A spokeswoman for the city mayor's office, Laurence Comminette, told the AP that the children at the school were all safe.

Liège is an industrial city close to the German border in the French-speaking Wallonia region.

Belgium's Interior Minister Jan Jambon said that investigators were trying to establish "exactly what happened" and that "our thoughts are with the victims of this awful act".

On Tuesday in Liege, Belgium the two cops were slaughtered together by a violent knife-wielding thug.

Eric Van Der Sypt, spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor's office, told the Agence France-Presse that "There are elements that point in the direction that this is a terrorist act".

His government colleague Jan Jambon, meanwhile, confirmed that Herman is now the prime suspect in the murder of a man in Luxembourg province on Monday evening, this time using a hammer.

Belgium is still on alert after attacks by a Belgian-based cell of the Islamic State militant group killed scores of people in Paris in 2015 and in Brussels in 2016.

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