A Polish mayor died Monday after being stabbed at a charity event Sunday night.
Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz, 53, had been attending the annual Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity’s “Lights to Heaven” fundraiser when authorities said a convicted criminal rushed the stage with a knife.
Hundreds witnessed Adamowicz clutch his midsection before collapsing on stage.
Medics successfully revived him and transported him to a local hospital, where he underwent five hours of surgery before succumbing to his injuries the following day, The Associated Press reported.
“We couldn’t win,” Poland’s health minister, Lukasz Szumowski, said Monday, confirming his death.
The 27-year-old suspect, who is believed to have gained access to the stage using a media badge, was arrested following the attack.
He had allegedly shouted on stage that he was wrongly imprisoned and tortured by the previous government administration, concluding, “That’s why Adamowicz just died,” according to the AP.
Authorities said the suspect has a criminal record and has been involved in bank robberies in the past, the AP reported.
Adamowicz has been the mayor of Gdansk since 1998, currently serving as an independent candidate. He is known for being a progressive with liberal viewpoints, including supporting LGBT rights and marching in last year’s gay pride parade.
Locals reportedly flooded the hospital when news broke of his attack to donate blood, according to the BBC.
Public figures took to Twitter to pay their respects to Adamowicz.
Officials are continuing to investigate.