Berlin attack: Truck owner tells of slain driver's unease

Story highlights

  • Berlin police say regular Polish driver was not at wheel during attack on market
  • Driver's boss says he wanted to leave early to buy Christmas gift for wife
  • Truck company owner says driver was uneasy about the area where he was due to unload

(CNN)The slain driver of a truck that was used to kill 12 people at the Berlin market had asked to finish his duties early so he could buy a Christmas gift for his wife, according to the owner of the trucking company.

Berlin police say that the Polish driver was not at the wheel during the attack and German Interior Minister Thomas De Maiziere said that the man appeared to have been shot dead.
    Speaking to CNN affiliate TVN24, truck company owner Ariel Zurawski described the Polish driver, who has not yet been identified, as a "good man."
    Zurawski says pictures shown to him by the police to help identify the victim were "very terrifying."
    Based on the picture he had seen, he believes the driver, who was 1.8 meters tall and 120kg (240 pounds), may have tried to fight off the assailants.

    'Truck was driven back and forth'

    Zurawski said they had spoken on the phone earlier Monday when the driver had requested to finish his duties early but also spoke of the driver's apparent unease. He had described the area where he was going to unload as "weird."
    Zurawski said in the interview that the driver talked to his wife at 3 pm local time, but at 3:45 pm the truck's GPS was showing that it was being driven back and forth with the engine being started and shut down again.
    He said that in his opinion it looked like someone was learning how to drive the truck. According to Zurawski, it didn't move again until 7:40 pm.
    The company owner said that the truck had shown up in different parts of Berlin but knew that the driver -- whose company nickname was "Inspector" -- never wasted any time and always followed the rules.
    He said he knew something terrible had happened to him when he saw the tragedy unfold in the market.