On some street in Milan, Italy....an Italian cop notices someone that just seems out of place. It's 3AM, and generally....most folks are either at home sleeping or at some business preparing for early AM opening times.
So the Italian cop approached this guy and asked for an ID. Most Italians would have simply spoke in Italian and suggested this was unnecessary....but this suspect went into a different behavior....reaching into his jacket or backpack for a weapon, and pulls it out. The Italian cop reacts....pulls his weapon out and at a very short range....both fire. Suspect dead....Italian cop wounded (he will survive).
The suspect? No real papers on the guy. Cops look at the dead guy, and there's this suspicion. They need fingerprints and a picture.
Between 10 and 11 this morning....7 hours later....the Italians confirm this dead suspect is the Berlin terrorist.
It's a 1,036 kilometers between Berlin and Milan. Somehow, this guy made it all the way down....through Austria or Switzerland. Method? Unknown. I doubt that he drove. Maybe he took a train, but I kinda doubt it. Some guy likely drove him down. What he was supposed to do in Milan? Unknown. Maybe he had another mission in mind. Maybe he was going to make way today to Rome....to the Vatican, for another terror act. It's hard to say. Obviously, he didn't stay around Berlin.
I read a piece this morning from Tunisia from the guy's family. They noted that he left several years ago in search of a better life. They can't believe what the guy fell into or how he got this stage. I'm guessing they will claim the body....give the kid some brief words...then bury him. It's hard to say how he started his trip to Italy five years ago, but I doubt that he figured he'd end up like this.
Now? A frustrated Berlin public can relax to some degree. Cops can shift gears and go back to a standard shift. Investigators can work to close most of this case.
Is it over? Is it really over? Some Germans are sitting there and questioning how this guy stayed on and on, and on....when he should have been deported....back to Tunisia. Some are asking how many others exist like this? They'd like to hold someone responsible.....but it's impossible to pin this on one person.
A dozen-odd families in Berlin are handling funeral services in this holiday season, and within the circle of dead and wounded.....there's probably 10,000 people who knew or associated with fifty-odd people at the scene. For them, it's personal....they are frustrated with what they see.
Rest for the cops? A brief rest maybe. They know that a couple hundred nutcases are out there and working up the courage for the next terror act. It's only because of brave cops....intense investigations....and suspicions that go to the next step.....that people can feel half-way safe. The Disneyland-mentality that existed for decades? It's fragile around the edges of German society now.
The best we can say is that a chapter to a book has closed out....and tomorrow will start a fresh new chapter. It's an epic....that people have grown negative about and would like more than just a few words spoken.