A man, since identified as 36-year-old Benjamin Herman, ambushed two female police officers from behind with a knife on the street, stabbing them and taking their sidearms, and then using the guns to kill them. Herman then opened fire on passersby on the street, killing the driver of a car.
Herman then proceeded to open fire at the Café des Augustins, yelling “Allahu Akbar,” then moved on to a nearby college, where he took a cleaning lady hostage. No students were harmed. After an exchange of gunfire in which two other officers were seriously wounded, police who responded to the scene finally shot and killed Herman.
Herman was a Belgian national who was known to the police, having just been released from Lantin prison yesterday. Police say that he had been radicalized while serving his sentence. The Belgian federal prosecutor’s office, which has taken over the investigation, says that they are not yet certain if terrorism was Herman’s motive, but that “there are elements that make us believe that it was a terror attack.”