Liege attack: Belgian police find body in killer's shed

Nordine Amrani
Image caption Nordine Amrani had already served three years in jail for drugs and firearms offences

Police in Belgium have found a woman's body in a shed belonging to a gunman who went on the rampage in the centre of Liege on Tuesday.

The body was found with a bullet wound to the head, say Belgian officials.

Nordine Amrani launched his attack with guns and hand grenades in a busy marketplace in Liege, killing three people there and himself.

Police say a 75 year-old woman earlier identified as one of the dead is still alive in hospital.

About 125 people were wounded, five of whom are in intensive care, including the woman.

The body found at the killer's property was that of a cleaner, reported to be 45 years old, who worked for one of Amrani's neighbours.

Also found in the shed were two weapons and a stockpile of ammunition, public prosecutor Daniele Reynders told a news conference.

No message has been found from the attacker, she said.

Officials say the shed was used by Amrani to grow cannabis.


A small crowd gathered at the Place Saint-Lambert in Liege for a minute's silence at midday local time (1100GMT) on Wednesday, 24 hours after the shooting. Some people laid flowers.

Students at the Saint Barthelemy high school - attended by two of the victims - also joined hands and observed the silence.

One of the boys has been identified as 17-year old Pierre Gerouville.

"It's difficult to accept that it happened in Liege and you realise no-one is safe in this case - it could have been him, it could have been someone else," said one student, Sophie Bodart.

"It's traumatising to know - you see him in school but he will never be back," said another pupil, Robin Hames.

"He didn't do anything. It was an exam day and he never came home."

A tribute page has been set up on Facebook for Pierre Gerouville.

The authorities are trying to determine what motivated Nordine Amrani, a Belgian citizen, to go on his killing spree in the central Place Saint-Lambert.

Officials have ruled out organised political terrorism but have yet to determine why he opened fire.

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Media captionPublic prosecutor Daniele Reynders gave latest details at a news conference

The BBC's Matthew Price, in Belgium, says they will now need to examine whether there was anything to indicate in advance that Amrani might have posed a danger to the public.

Police have said he was known to them for previous drugs and firearms offences and acted alone in the attack.

Amrani, a resident of Liege, had spent three years in jail for firearms and drugs offences, Ms Reynders said.

He was released on parole in October 2010.

There were no medical reports suggesting any mental health problems, she said.


Amrani had been asked to attend a police station on Tuesday for an interview in connection with charges against him.

Instead, he took an assault rifle, revolver and hand grenades into the busy town centre square, close to the courthouse.

At about midday, he threw three grenades at people waiting for buses then opened fire, sending hundreds of people fleeing in panic.

"He wanted to hurt as many people as possible," journalist Nicolas Gilenne told AFP. "I heard four explosions and shots during about 10 seconds."

A 15-year-old boy died instantly, while the other victims died later in hospital.

One official told AFP that a Christmas market was meant to be taking place in the square that day but the opening had been postponed because of bad weather.

"Otherwise many more would have died," said the official.

Ms Reynders said Amrani had committed suicide at the scene by shooting himself in the head.

Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, who has only been in office since last week, said there were "no words to describe this tragedy".

"The whole country shares the pain of the families affected. We share the shock of the population," he said as he visited the square on Tuesday.

Belgium's King Albert II and Queen Paola also visited Place Saint-Lambert to pay their respects.

Liege's mayor Willy Demeyer, said the attack had "sown sorrow in the heart of the city".

How the attack unfolded

1. Place St Lambert square: Nordine Amrani parks near Le Point Chaud bakery. He is armed with hand grenades, a handgun and an automatic weapon.

2. Approx. 1230: Amrani walks to a paved terrace above the bakery and throws 3 grenades at people waiting at bus stops on the road below. He then opens fire with the automatic weapon. Three people are killed and about 125 are wounded. Amrani then shoots himself dead with the handgun.

3. Fifth victim: The body of a 45-year-old woman is later found shot dead in a shed at Amrani's house on Rue de Campine.

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