Two female police officers were killed in Belgium today when a man stabbed them, took their guns and shot them in what authorities have since deemed a terror attack. Authorities said police were specifically targeted by the gunman.
The third victim was a 22-year-old university student in Liege, about 60 miles east of Brussels, authorities said. He was a passenger in a car fired on by the suspect.
Police later shot and killed the gunman, who first fled into a nearby college and took a female hostage. No students were harmed but four police officers were injured. Three are being treated at a hospital.
The two officers killed in the attack were Soraya Belkacemi and Lucile Garcia. Belkacemi, 45, leaves behind 13-year-old twins. Garcia, 53, had a 25-year-old son.
Police identified the gunman as Benjamin Herman, a 36-year-old Belgian native who was allegedly radicalized in prison. He was expected to return to prison today and his mother’s home is currently being searched, police said.
Herman allegedly approached the officers from behind, stabbed them multiple times and took their guns, officials said.
Witnesses on the scene told local broadcaster RTBF they were alerted to the incident by the sound of gunfire and panicked crowds.
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SOURCE: ABC News, Aicha El Hammar, Julia MacFarlane, Paul Pradier, James Longman and Justin Doom