A Polish mayor who was left fighting for his life after he was stabbed on stage during a charity event has died of stab wounds.
Pawel Adamowicz, the mayor of the Polish city of Gdansk, died after being stabbed onstage at a Polish charity event, Poland’s health minister said today.
He grabbed his belly and collapsed in front of the audience after he was attacked with a sharp tool last night.
The attacker reportedly shouted from the stage that he had been wrongly imprisoned when the mayor’s former party was in power.
‘That’s why Adamowicz dies,’ the attacker said.
Poland’s president said he had initially been told ‘there is hope’ for the mayor’s survival after doctors reanimated his heart, but said his condition was ‘very difficult’.
‘Despite all our efforts, we failed to save him,’ Doctor Tomasz Stefaniak, director of Gdansk’s University hospital said, quoted by the Polish PAP news agency.
Pawel Adamowicz (pictured at Sunday night’s event), mayor of the port city of Gdansk, was attacked with a sharp tool during a fundraising event in the city tonight
Mr Adamowicz lies on the floor as medics come to his aid during the charity event in Gdansk
A man is held on the ground by security personnel after he attacked the mayor of Gdansk
Anti-violence rallies are being planned nationwide after Sunday’s shock attack on Mayor Pawel Adamowicz.
Lukasz Szumowski told local press, according to private broadcaster TVN: ‘We couldn’t win.’
Interior minister Joachim Brudzinski said Mr Adamowicz was in a very serious condition, calling the stabbing ‘an act of inexplicable barbarity’.
Gdansk Archbishop Slawoj Leszek Glod went to the hospital while the operation was underway, Polish media reported.
Medical officials appealed for blood donations as Mr Adamowicz was taken to a hospital where he underwent surgery.
A Polish broadcaster said a man had rushed on stage at around 8pm and said the mayor was seen holding his belly.
Radio Gdansk reported that Mr Adamowicz was stabbed near his heart as the attacker shouted from the stage.
A man holds a sharp object just after stabbing Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz in Gdansk
A female medic attends to the mayor of Gdansk after he was stabbed and critically wounded
An ambulance thought to be carrying mayor Pawel Adamowicz on its way to hospital
A Gdansk police spokesman said the attacker, who was detained by police, was a 27-year-old who lived in the city.
Adamowicz later underwent surgery, deputy mayor Piotry Grzelak was quoted as saying by the PAP news agency.
Earlier he boasted on Facebook that he hadd raised £5,000 for the event.
‘Thank you sincerely everyone who threw money into my can and helped beat my personal record,’ Mr Adamowicz wrote.
Mr Adamowicz has been mayor of Gdansk, a port city on the Baltic coast, since 1998.
He was part of the democratic opposition born in the city under the leadership of Lech Walesa during the 1980s which helped to bring down the Communist regime.
As mayor, he is seen as a progressive voice and has supported LGBT rights and tolerance for minorities.
The University Clinical Center, in which the wounded Mayor of Gdansk is being treated
He showed solidarity with the Jewish community when the city’s synagogue had its windows broken last year, strongly denouncing the vandalism.
European Council President Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, wrote on Twitter: ‘Let’s all pray for Mayor Adamowicz. Pawel, we are with you.’
President Andrzej Duda said yesterday that while he and the mayor have had political differences, ‘today I am unconditionally with him and his loved ones, just as – I hope – all of us compatriots are. I pray for his return to health and full strength’.
The fundraising event was organised by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, Poland’s most important charity.
It raises money for medical equipment Poland’s cash-strapped health care system has trouble providing.