Four injured in shooting in central Brussels

Four injured in shooting in central Brussels
Credit: Belga / Hatim Kaghat

Four people were injured in a shooting on Avenue de la Toison d'Or 3 on Wednesday evening, according to the Brussels Capital/Ixelles police zone.

"We received a report of a shooting on Avenue de la Toison d'Or around 19:30," stated police spokesperson Ilse Van de Keere shortly after the incident. "Our officers promptly responded to the scene, where they encountered three casualties. A perimetre was immediately established."

By the time police officers arrived the perpetrator or perpetrators had already fled the scene.

One of the victims' life is believed to be in danger, Le Soir reports, citing a police update made around 22:00 on Wednesday, which revised the initial figure of three injuries to four.

One of the victims was near the Galerie Toison d'Or. A second was found near the Apple Store and a third in the Rue des Chevaliers.

Among those injured in the shooting was a Swedish woman employed by the Moderate Party in the European Parliament, reports Swedish public broadcaster SVT, on the basis of information provided by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

The 30-year-old is currently out of danger, said MEP Tomas Tobé, a member of the same party, on social media.

Not-terrorism related, police say

At this stage of the investigation, police have said that there is no indication that this was a terrorist act.

The facts increasingly point to an incident involving urban gangs. The mayor of Ixelles Christos Doulkeridis was also at the scene, and confirmed that he believes the incident appears to be a drug-related settling of scores.

Alain Gagnaire, manager of the Couleur Café brasserie located inside the Galerie Toison d'Or, stated that several people came to take refuge in his establishment immediately after the shots were fired.

"In the middle of the Avenue de la Toison d'Or, a man came with a gun and fired several shots, which caused a panic with around 20 people coming to take refuge in the Galerie, including a woman with an injury to her right leg, a tourist. I called the cops and they came in droves, along with the fire brigade," he told Le Soir.

According to the fire brigade, the cameras in the shopping arcade were able to film the incident, which could help the investigation.

An attempted murder charge has been referred to an examining magistrate.

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