American woman recounts close call after attack in Berlin
HOUSTON – Public relations firm manager Veronica Vaquer of the Washington, D.C. area decided to spend part of a business trip to Europe touring Berlin, Germany.
On her way to her hotel Monday night, she noticed something seemed off.
"I was walking back to my hotel and I noticed three ambulances rush by, and I thought that was unusual,” Vaquer said.
When she got to her room, Vaquer’s inbox was flooded with messages asking if she was OK. She turned on the news and learned that a truck driver had plowed through a Christmas market just three subway stops from where she was staying.
Twelve people were killed and 48 were injured in the attack.
"It was very hard to absorb and wrap my head around that something terrible had happened not that far away."
Vaquer had visited that same market two nights earlier.
"It was very upsetting to realize I had been at that exact same place around the same time only two nights earlier. It was ... um, it was shocking,” Vaquer said.
On Tuesday, a memorial had been formed near the scene of the attack, with flowers placed on the street in memory of the victims.
The attack, which the Islamic State groups claimed credit for on Tuesday, is being investigated by German authorities as an act of terrorism.
A man being questioned about the attack was released Tuesday, with German officials citing a lack of evidence in the case.
With news of the possibility of a terror suspect on the loose in Berlin, Vaquer admitted she was worried.
"I was at first comforted when I thought they had the person in custody, and this afternoon when the reports came out that they likely had the wrong person, I felt nervous again."