A male shooter in the Belgian city of Liege has opened fire and killed three people, including two female police officers and a civilian. He also took a cleaning woman as a hostage before being killed by the cops. Four police officers were also injured in the chaos of the attack, which is suspected to be a terrorist act in which the police were the targets. Liege is located in the eastern region of the country. Today, a vigil will be held at the town hall in Liege at 1:00pm local time (which is 11:00am on our time) to mourn and remember the victims of this attack.

The deaths that came from the tragic shooting were confirmed in a public statement at a press conference by Willy Demeyer, the Mayor of Liege, who also added that the police department were “definitely the target of this attack.” He said that in any matters, especially ones like this, his administration would be “forever” on the police’s side. He also promised that the families of the victims of the shooting would be provided with “physical and psychological support” as they deal with their sudden and unexpected losses.

The shooter’s exact motive has yet to be determined by the investigating police officers, but authorities are treating this incident as an act of terrorism and they have taken it that the police were the targets.

Apparently, the shooter was on temporary release from prison. He was only let out on Monday and he’s already gone and opened fire on the police. He had been serving time in jail on drug charges. It is thought that while he was in prison, he was radicalised by some people with extreme views.

The shooter was heard yelling, ‘Allahu Akbar!’

According to initial reports from the scene, the shooter was heard shouting out, “Allahu Akbar!” while he was massacring Belgian police officers. This should be a familiar term to anyone who knows anything about Islamic State terrorism. It’s an Arabic term that roughly translates to “God is greatest.” The terrorist group ISIS have yet to take credit for the attack, but the investigators have nonetheless assumed that, thanks to the “Allahu Akbar!” chant, this terrorist was probably operating as an Islamic extremist.

The attack in Liege did not begin as a shooting. The attacker did not have any guns of his own, in fact. It began as a stabbing attack, as he came at the police officers he killed armed with knives. He stabbed them several times before removing their guns from the holsters and murdering them with their own firearms. It’s not yet clear if he was trying to make some kind of political statement by doing this, but he was taking a specifically anti-police stance with the attack, rather than just mindlessly killing people.

Federal prosecutors have launched a terror investigation

After the local police dealt with the attack itself, killing the shooter, and the initial fallout, federal prosecutors have been brought in to further investigation the attack and get to the bottom of it to determine a motive, who planned it, how it could have potentially been prevented etc.

They have determined that it was, as suspected, a terrorist attack and they have subsequently launched a terror investigation and put the terrorism-related protocols into place in order to figure out what happened and get the details.

Mayor Demeyer says that at today’s vigil, there will be a book placed in the town hall, where the remembrance service is set to take place, in which well-wishers and mourners will be able write their condolences to the families of the victims. Furthermore, he has pledged that “all flags on municipal buildings” will be reeled down to half-mast as a sign of respect for the dead.