Spain's lone hero police officer treated for psychological trauma

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-20 21:46:30|Editor: Song Lifang
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BARCELONA, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- A lone police officer, who shot and killed four members of a terrorist cell in the second Spain terror attack in the coastal town of Cambrils on Thursday suffered a "severe emotional shock", El Mundo, the second largest daily newspaper of Spain, reported on Sunday.

The officer, dubbed as "the Hero of Cambrils", a former member of the Spanish Foreign Legion, is receiving the help of police psychologists specialized in this kind of traumas, the report said.

The officer, confirmed as a female, shot and killed the four among the five members of the terrorist cell as they, armed with machetes and guns, attempted to carry out an attack in the coastal town, 170 kilometers south of Barcelona, a few hours after 13 people were killed and over 120 injured when a van was driven at high speed into crowds on Barcelona's Las Ramblas.

The officer, a member of the Mossos d'Esquadra force (Catalan police force), acted after the terrorists in Cambrils drove through a police control and attempted to drive through another, while attempting to mow down anyone in their path and then stabbing a woman to death after they had crashed their car.

After realizing the seriousness of the situation, the officer, who is described as someone with "enormous technical qualifications for using weapons and in taking rapid decisions," shot the four of the terrorists dead, preventing more fatalities on an already bloody day.

The report said this officer had volunteered to do extra hours to be part of an extra security allocation on duty to tighten controls in the wake of the Barcelona massacre hours ago.

The authorities are doing everything possible to protect the anonymity of the officer, as they believe it is fundamental to protect the family of the officer" from possible reprisals from jihadist groups.

Thirteen people were killed and about 120 others injured on Thursday afternoon in the popular Las Ramblas area of Barcelona when a white van zigzagged at high speed down the busy avenue thronged with tourists, knocking down pedestrians.

On early Friday, the 14th victim, a woman, was reportedly stabbed when five people jumped out of a car and began attacking people at random on the seaside promenade in Cambrils.

The fifth terrorist managed to flee the hero cop, but was shot dead by another officer.

Both attacks were carried out by a single terrorist cell made up of about 12 people, according to Spanish police.