LONDON — A van has crashed into a crowd of people in the western German city of Muenster, killing several and injuring at least 30 people, police said Saturday.

Officers told NBC News the suspected driver is believed to have committed suicide. They said a motive remains unclear, and the investigation is underway.

The Associated Press reported that three people had been killed, but NBC News could not immediately verify the reports.

The incident happened shortly before 3:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. ET) in the Kiepenkerl area of the city center. Muenster Police tweeted Saturday afternoon that residents should avoid the city center where a police operation is underway.

Local police said they were on the scene and emergency services were attending to the injured. They asked the public to only trust information provided by authorities.

A deputy spokeswoman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ulrike Demmer, tweeted "our thoughts are with the victims and their families." She described the incident Saturday "terrible news."

In December 2016, a truck plowed into crowds at a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.