Polish mayor Pawel Adamowicz has died after being fatally stabbed at a charity event.
The LGBTI ally was stabbed in the heart and abdomen by an ex-convict who rushed onto the stage with a knife yesterday (13 January).
Blood donors flooded to hospitals in a bid to help save Adamowicz.
But Poland’s health minister Lukasz Szumowski has confirmed the mayor died, saying, ‘we couldn’t win.’
The attack happened in moments at the 27th annual fundraiser organized by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity.
Footage showed the Gdansk mayor on stage with a sparkler in hand, saying it had been a ‘wonderful day’.
The attacker then came towards him. Suddenly, the mayor collapsed and he grabbed his body.
After the knife attack, the assailant shouted from the stage he had been wrongly imprisoned by the previous national government led by Civil Platform.
The mayor formerly belonged to the party.
‘I was jailed but innocent,’ he said. ‘Civil Platform tortured me. That’s why Adamowicz just died.’
Police spokesperson Mariusz Ciarka said the attacker appeared to have mental problems. He also said the assailant appeared to have accessed the area with a media badge.
The man was arrested and under investigation.
Surgeon Dr Tomasz Stefaniak said Adamowicz suffered a ‘serious wound to the heart, a wound to the diaphragm and to the internal organs.’
Adamowicz served five terms as part of the Civil Platform party, and then was re-elected to a sixth term as an independent candidate.
He marched in last year’s Pride parade in Gdansk.
He said he dreamed of a time when ‘equality and fraternity can become a part of Poles’ daily lives’.
Adamowicz added he hopes of the day when ‘an asylum-seeker, an immigrant, a Roma person, an African American person and a Polish person will be able to sit together around a table in one, common house.’
He was just 53 years old when he died.