Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Foiled Berlin Knife Attack, Syrian Chemical Attack

EDM Monday Briefing: Foiled Berlin Knife Attack, Syrian Chemical Attack


Emergency and disaster management briefing for April 9, 2018: A knife-wielding man stabs three in Indianapolis, Indiana, a suspected chemical gas attack in Syria prompts a UN Security Council meeting on Monday, authorities in East Ridge, Tennessee are engaged in a manhunt for a suspect wanted in a double homicide, German authorities say the suspect in Saturday's vehicle attack that killed two acted alone, the Warren County, New Jersey Health Department is investigating an E. coli outbreak that may be linked to local Panera Bread restaurants, an allegedly planned knife attack at the Berlin Half-Marathon was foiled by authorities, a horse-trailer carrying illegal immigrants crashed near Campo, California injuring at least six, and a tragic bus crash in Saskatoon, Canada, kills 15 members of a junior hockey team.

  1. Three people were injured in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana when a knife-wielding man attacked people across from the Central Library on the American Legion Mall on Sunday. The incident occurred after one female, walking with another female friend, asked the man was to stop playing a siren on a bullhorn out of concern it would trigger an epileptic seizure for her friend with epilepsy. The man then pulled a knife and tried to stab the women before friends and family of the two females rushed in to stop him. Three of them were stabbed, but others were finally able to subdue the suspect and hold him until local law enforcement arrived. 
  2. A suspected chemical gas attack in Douma, Syria near the capital, has reportedly killed at least 40 people and injured more than 500, most of them women and children. Victims were being treated at nearby medical centers and makeshift hospitals for symptoms including foaming at the mouth, difficulty breathing, and burning of the eyes. Douma is the last rebel stronghold in eastern Ghouta, and the UN Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting on Monday regarding the chemical attack.  
  3. Authorities in East Ridge, Tennessee are hunting for a man who allegedly killed his mom and his friend early Sunday before fleeing the scene. The suspect, Casey Lawhorn, 23, reportedly made a post to Facebook describing the murders in detail while sitting in his vehicle that broke down on I-59 in Jasper County, Mississippi, which was later found abandoned. Authorities are asking for assistance in locating the suspect, whom they consider to be armed and very dangerous
  4. Authorities now say that the 48-year-old man that plowed his van into a crowd of people sitting outside the Grosser Kiepenkerl eatery on Saturday in Muenster, Germany, killing two people and injuring 20 others, acted alone. The suspect, who was well known to police and determined to be mentally unstable, shot and killed himself inside his van after the attack. Police are looking for a motive for the vehicle attack as the investigation into the incident continues
  5. Warren County Health department officials indicate that an E. coli outbreak in New Jersey may be linked to local Panera Bread restaurants, although they cautioned that other sources are still being investigated. At least eight cases of E. coli are under investigation, with all eight cases being so severe they required hospitalization. Health department officials warn that the source of the local outbreak has not yet been definitively determined, but a total of four counties are involved in the outbreak, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset, and Warren. Officials also warned that symptoms may not begin until three to four days after infection, with young children and the elderly being particularly at risk. 
  6. Police in Berlin reportedly foiled an allegedly planned knife attack at the Berlin Half-Marathon on Sunday. The main suspect, who was reportedly arrested on Sunday, is said to have known Anis Amri, the Tunisian responsible for the vehicle attack on a Berlin Christmas market in 2016 that killed 20 people. The alleged plan was to kill participants and spectators with extra-sharpened knives and police have confirmed that at least six arrests have been made in connection with the alleged plot. 
  7. At least six people were hospitalized after a horse trailer carrying at least 18 illegal immigrants crashed and overturned just north of the Mexican border near the town of Campo, California. According to reports, the horse trailer began to fishtail, and eventually tipped over while traveling along Interstate 8, injuring several people, while others ran away from the scene. Although the location where the immigrants entered the country has not yet been determined, authorities were able to find all of the people believed to be on the trailer, but it remains unclear if the driver of the pickup truck is in custody.  
  8. Fifteen people were killed when a bus carrying 29 players and coaches of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team collided with a semi-trailer at an intersection north of Tisdale, Saskatoon early Friday evening. Fourteen people were also injured, and as of Sunday evening, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) had identified all 15 victims killed in the collision. The driver of the transport truck, who was not injured, allegedly t-boned the bus, overturning both vehicles in the crash, but due to the many factors involved, authorities are still investigating the cause of the accident.  

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.