Mayor of Poland’s Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, Dies in Hospital after Stabbing Attack at Charity Event
Adamowicz, a liberal who has been Gdansk’s Mayor for two decades, was stabbed on stage before hundreds of people.
Pawel Adamowicz, the popular Mayor of Poland’s Baltic city of Gdansk, has passed away in hospital after he was stabbed on Sunday.
53-year-old Adamowicz was attacked with a knife of Sunday evening during an annual charity event in Gdansk, the Great Orchestra of Christmas, during while volunteers raise money for medical equipment.
The stabbing occurred before hundreds of people as Pawel Adamowicz was on stage. The attacked stabbed him several times, then shouted to the audience.
Gdansk’s Mayor passed away on Monday in spite of a five-hour operation during while doctors tried to save his life, Radio Poland reports. The stabbing wounds affected Adamowicz’s heart, diaphragm and abdomen.
The Polish police arrested the stabber immediately after the knife attack. He is a 27-year-old with a criminal record and identified only as “Stefan”.
He is believed to have managed to gain access to the Great Orchestra of Christmas charity event stage with a media pass.
The attacker’s past crimes include a bank robbery and an assault on a police officer. He was released from prison in 2018.
“Adamowicz is dead,” the stabber shouted while on stage, immediately after the stabbing.
The stabber also shouted that the Civic Platform party, now in opposition, which had supported Adamowicz’s reelection, had wrongfully imprisoned him, and that he had been tortured in prison.
During a news conference on Monday, prosecutor Krzysztof Sierak said the suspected would undergo psychological assessment.
Pawel Adamowicz, who is a father of two children, first became Mayor of Poland’s Baltic city of Gdansk in 1998, and has been reelected four times, most recently in November 2018.
He was a popular public figure in Poland widely known for his liberal political views.
Local residents flocked to hospitals in Gdansk to donate blood while he was still fighting for his life.
The news of his passing led to spontaneous rallies against violence and in honor of his memory across Poland on Monday evening.
About 16,000 participated in the rally in Gdansk, with rallies also occurring in Warsaw, Gdańsk, Kraków and Poznań
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda declared the day of Adamowicz’s funeral a day of national mourning.
(Banner image: Pawel Adamowicz’s Twitter profile)