Mayor attacked, seriously injured
Gdansk official stabbed by assailant on stage during charity event
WARSAW, Poland — A convicted criminal with a knife rushed on to the stage during the finale of a charity event and stabbed a Polish mayor in the abdomen multiple times Sunday before shouting that he did it for political revenge, in an attack that left the politician fighting for his life.
Gdan sk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz grabbed his stomach and collapsed in front of the audience during the “Lights to Heaven” fundraiser organized by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, Poland’s largest nongovernmental organization.
Polish President Andrzej Duda said he was informed that “doctors succeeded in reanimating the heart of the seriously injured Mayor Pawel Adamowicz and there is hope, but his condition is very difficult.”
Polish broadcaster TVN said the assailant shouted from the stage that he had been wrongly imprisoned under a previous national government led by Civic Platform, a party to which the mayor formerly belonged. The suspected attacker was arrested.
Police said the suspect was a 27yearold with a criminal record and had carried out bank robberies. A police spokesman, Mariusz Ciarka, said the attacker gained access to the area with a media badge.
Radio Gdansk said Adamowicz was stabbed in the area of his heart, but did not cite its source, while Rzeczpospolita described the mayor’s condition as “critical,” citing unidentified sources. A spokesman for the hospital called his condition “very serious.”
Adamowicz has been mayor of Gdansk, a Baltic port city, since 1998.
He has been a progressive voice, supporting LGBT rights and tolerance for minorities. He marched in last year’s gay pride parade, a rare action for a mayor in Poland.
He also showed solidarity with the Jewish community when the city’s synagogue had its windows broken last year, strongly denouncing the vandalism.