Dr Fritz von Weizsacker, a prominent German physician at Berlin’s Schlosspark Clinic, a private medical institution, was fatally stabbed Tuesday night during a lecture, German media outlets have reported.
According to the Berlin Spectator, Weizsacker was attacked by a member of the audience. In the middle of the lecture, the attacker was said to have approached the physician and attacked him with a knife.
An off-duty police officer in the audience attempted to help Weizsacker, receiving injuries of his own and requiring treatment. Other bystanders helped to overpower and detain the attacker until police arrived.
Doctors at the clinic rushed to assist Dr Weizsacker, but he succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
The suspect is believed to be a man in his 50s. The motive for the attack has yet to be determined. “We cannot yet say anything about the attacker’s motive,” a police spokesman told reporters. Police are treating the attack as a homicide.
The accused will appear before a magistrate later Wednesday.
Vom Täter, der Fritz von Weizsäcker gestern Abend erstochen hat, ist bislang kaum etwas bekannt. Aber es gibt dieses Foto, das den mutmaßlichen Täter bei seiner Festnahme zeigt. pic.twitter.com/uzz0S8mmhs— 🆁🅰🅻🅵 (@ralf_kowollik) 20 ноября 2019 г.
Tweet reads: "Hardly anything is known so far about the culprit who stabbed Fritz von Weizsacker. But there is a photo showing the alleged perpetrator after his capture."
Weizsacker was the son of Richard von Weizsacker, the former West Berlin mayor who served as the Federal Republic’s president between 1984 and 1994, and who became the first German president post-reunification in 1990. Weizsacker senior died in 2015, aged 94.
Dr Fritz von Weizsacker specialised in internal medicine and gastroenterology. He is survived by his wife and four children.
Weizsacker was a member of Germany’s Free Democratic Party, and party leader Christian Lindner expressed his “shock” over the crime late Tuesday night, venting his grief and tweeting that the incident led him to “once again ask oneself what kind of world we live in.”
The Weizsacker family is one of Germany’s most prominent aristocratic families, and has produced multiple prominent German politicians, diplomat, physicists, academics, scientists, and physicians over the course of several centuries.