Volkmarsen ramming attack

On 24 February 2020, a man rammed his car against civilians at a carnival parade in Volkmarsen, Hesse, Germany, injuring 154 people.[1]

Volkmarsen ramming attack
LocationVolkmarsen, Hesse, Germany
Date24 February 2020
Attack type
Vehicle-ramming attack
WeaponsMercedes-Benz station wagon
AssailantsMaurice Pahler


At about 2:45pm, a silver Mercedes car was driven first through plastic barricades set up for the parade and then into a crowd at a carnival parade celebrating Rosenmontag in Volkmarsen, Hesse, Germany.[2][3] Eye witnesses informed BBC News that the driver sped up to attack the civilians, and seemed to target children.[2][3] 154 people were injured, with thirty-five seriously injured.[1][4][3] Twenty of those injured were children, the youngest of whom was a two-year-old.[3] A 29 year old German citizen, named by Police as "Maurice P", who moved to the local area within the previous 3 years, was detained and arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide, but a motive for the attack has yet to be determined as the suspect was said to not be in a fit state of mind to be questioned.[3][2] The New York Times reported that once the car initially crashed, bystanders rushed to the car. A woman tried to take the keys from the man, but was choked and had her hair pulled; the suspect tried to restart the car, but three men assaulted the suspect to disable him.[5] As of 24 February, the suspect was receiving medical treatment for injuries sustained in the incident but would later be brought before an investigating judge. Hesse authorities cancelled all carnival parades as a precaution that day, and reconvened them on the following morning with enhanced security.[6][2][3]


The attacker was identified as Maurice Pahler, a 29-year-old German man, known to police for crimes including assault. It was stated by the public prosecutors office that the assault was premeditated.[7] It was initially reported that the attacker was under the effect of alcohol and drugs, but this was later corrected as false.[8]

A person who filmed the attack was arrested; it is not clear if he was involved in the attack.[9]


Chancellor Angela Merkel said her thoughts were with the injured and their relatives and thanked the police and medical services.[3]


  1. ^ a b Nach Amokfahrt - Kriminologe: Taten wie Volkmarsen und Hanau waren nicht vorhersehbar
  2. ^ a b c d Henley, Jon (24 February 2020). "Children among the injured after car drives into German carnival". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Dozens injured after car ploughs into carnival parade in Germany". The Irish Times. 24 February 2020. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Dozens injured as German man 'intentionally' rams car into crowd". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  5. ^ "German Carnival Crash Driver 'Seemed So Satisfied': Eyewitness Says". February 25, 2020 – via New York Times.
  6. ^ "Car drives into carnival crowd in German town". February 24, 2020 – via BBC News.
  7. ^ Bullion, Constanze von; Drobinski, Matthias. "Nordhessen - Zertrümmerte Fröhlichkeit beim Rosenmontag". Süddeutsche.de.
  8. ^ Jüngstes Opfer ist drei Jahre alt
  9. ^ Volkmarsen attack: Almost 60 hurt after car drives into carnival crowd