The mayor of Poland’s northern city of Gdansk is in critical condition after a brutal knife attack right in the middle of a charity concert. A man ran to the stage and stabbed the official, claiming revenge for an injustice.
The horrific incident took place at an annual charity event collecting money for Polish medical facilities. As the concert was nearing its end, the attacker rushed the stage and assaulted Mayor Pawel Adamowicz by stabbing him with a knife several times right in front of the crowd.
Videos posted on social media appear to show the moments after the shocking attack. Apparently, it all unfolded so quick most people did not even realize what was happening; many could be seen waving their hands and phones to music.
The assailant stayed on the stage and continued to walk around with his hands raised up. He also grabbed the microphone and claimed that he committed the attack because he had been previously “wrongly accused” and had served his time in jail.
The attacker was eventually overpowered by the guards and handed over to the police.
Adamowicz had to be resucitated at the scene, local media reported. Radio Gdansk cited its correspondent at the scene as saying the attacker had aimed for the heart and apparently pierced his victim’s aorta. The official was taken to hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery. His condition remains critical.
The shocking attack, previously unheard-of in the European city, has drawn immediate condemnation, even from the mayor’s biggest political rivals. Acknowledging that they’ve had political differences with Adamowicz, President Andrzej Duda said that “today I am unconditionally with him and his loved ones, just as I hope all of us compatriots are. I pray for his return to health and full strength.”
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski called the attack “an act of inexplicable barbarity” as he commented on the mayor’s serious condition.
European Council President Donald Tusk, himself originally from Gdansk, tweeted: “Let’s all pray for Mayor Adamowicz. Pawel, we are with you.”