Sunday 25 September 2016

Masked man who carried out stabbing spree in Sweden school 'had racist motive' - police

Published 23/10/2015 | 12:26

The masked suspect, armed with a sword, posing for a photo with two others moments before attacking students and staff at the primary and middle school in Trollhattan Credit: AFP (Getty Images)
The masked suspect, armed with a sword, posing for a photo with two others moments before attacking students and staff at the primary and middle school in Trollhattan Credit: AFP (Getty Images)
Students and parents leave Kronan school in Trollhattan, Sweden (Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT via AP)
Students unwittingly posed for pictures with the killer during his rampage
The man brandishing a sword broke into a school in Sweden, killing two people and seriously wounding two others before being shot by police Credit: AFP (Getty Images)
Police officers are seen at a school in Trollhattan, October 22, 2015. A masked man wielding "knife-like weapons" killed one teacher and wounded another as well as two boys at the school in western Sweden on Thursday before being shot by police. Police said the suspect, a man in his 20s, was being treated for injuries at a hospital. The motive for the attack was not known. REUTERS/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT News Agency ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN. NO COMMERCIAL SALES.
Onlookers stand outside a cordoned area after a masked man attacked people with a sword at a school in Trollhattan, western Sweden October 22, 2015. The masked man wielding a sword killed one person and wounded four at the school in western Sweden before being shot by police, authorities said on Thursday. The incident occurred at the Kronan school in Trollhattan, an industrial town of around 50,000 inhabitants north of Gothenburg. REUTERS/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT News Agency ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN. NO COMMERCIAL SALES.
Police officers stand guard at a cordoned area after a masked man attacked people with a sword at a school in Trollhattan, western Sweden October 22, 2015. The masked man wielding a sword killed one person and wounded four at the school in western Sweden before being shot by police, authorities said on Thursday. The incident occurred at the Kronan school in Trollhattan, an industrial town of around 50,000 inhabitants north of Gothenburg. REUTERS/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT News Agency ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN. NO COMMERCIAL SALES.
Police officers stand guard at a cordoned area after a masked man attacked people with a sword at a school in Trollhattan, western Sweden October 22, 2015. The masked man wielding a sword killed one person and wounded four at the school in western Sweden before being shot by police, authorities said on Thursday. The incident occurred at the Kronan school in Trollhattan, an industrial town of around 50,000 inhabitants north of Gothenburg. REUTERS/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT News Agency ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN. NO COMMERCIAL SALES.
Police officers stand guard at a cordoned area after a masked man attacked people with a sword at a school in Trollhattan, western Sweden October 22, 2015. The masked man wielding a sword killed one person and wounded four at the school in western Sweden before being shot by police, authorities said on Thursday. The incident occurred at the Kronan school in Trollhattan, an industrial town of around 50,000 inhabitants north of Gothenburg. REUTERS/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT News Agency ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN. NO COMMERCIAL SALES.

The man who stabbed two people to death at a school in Sweden before being shot and killed by police had a racist motive and had planned the attack.

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Police labelled the stabbing in the industrial town of Trollhattan as a hate crime based on discoveries they made when searching the man's home, the way he dressed, his behaviour at the scene and the way he selected his victims.

"All together, this gives a picture that the perpetrator had a racist motive when he committed the crimes at Kronan school," police said in a statement.

The 21-year-old masked man, who has not been identified by police, entered the school in southern Sweden on Thursday and stabbed four people, two of whom died, before he was shot by police. He later died of his wounds.

Onlookers stand outside a cordoned area after a masked man attacked people with a sword at a school in Trollhattan, western Sweden October 22, 2015. The masked man wielding a sword killed one person and wounded four at the school in western Sweden before being shot by police, authorities said on Thursday. The incident occurred at the Kronan school in Trollhattan, an industrial town of around 50,000 inhabitants north of Gothenburg. REUTERS/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT News Agency ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN. NO COMMERCIAL SALES.
Onlookers stand outside a cordoned area after a masked man attacked people with a sword at a school in Trollhattan, western Sweden October 22, 2015. The masked man wielding a sword killed one person and wounded four at the school in western Sweden before being shot by police, authorities said on Thursday. The incident occurred at the Kronan school in Trollhattan, an industrial town of around 50,000 inhabitants north of Gothenburg. REUTERS/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT News Agency ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN. NO COMMERCIAL SALES.

Senior police officer Niclas Hallgren told a news conference that surveillance videos show the attacker roaming inside the school with a sword and a sharp knife.

Evidence shows that he acted alone and police found "a kind of suicide note" in his apartment after the stabbing, investigator Thord Haraldsson added.

Police officers stand guard at a cordoned area after a masked man attacked people with a sword at a school in Trollhattan, western Sweden October 22, 2015. The masked man wielding a sword killed one person and wounded four at the school in western Sweden before being shot by police, authorities said on Thursday. The incident occurred at the Kronan school in Trollhattan, an industrial town of around 50,000 inhabitants north of Gothenburg. REUTERS/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT News Agency ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN. NO COMMERCIAL SALES.
Police officers stand guard at a cordoned area after a masked man attacked people with a sword at a school in Trollhattan, western Sweden October 22, 2015. The masked man wielding a sword killed one person and wounded four at the school in western Sweden before being shot by police, authorities said on Thursday. The incident occurred at the Kronan school in Trollhattan, an industrial town of around 50,000 inhabitants north of Gothenburg. REUTERS/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT News Agency ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN. NO COMMERCIAL SALES.

Police also found the sword's holster inside a car parked nearby the school that the attacker could have used.

None of the victims have been identified by police or health officials. However, local newspaper GT cited relatives as saying the victims were 20-year-old Lavin Eskandar, a mentor at the school, and Ahmed Hassan, a 15-year-old student. Both died of their stabbing wounds.

Police officers are seen at a school in Trollhattan, October 22, 2015. A masked man wielding
Police officers are seen at a school in Trollhattan, October 22, 2015. A masked man wielding "knife-like weapons" killed one teacher and wounded another as well as two boys at the school in western Sweden on Thursday before being shot by police. Police said the suspect, a man in his 20s, was being treated for injuries at a hospital. The motive for the attack was not known. REUTERS/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT News Agency ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN. NO COMMERCIAL SALES.

The attack stunned Sweden, where violent crime is relatively rare, though there has been a recent spate of arson attacks on asylum centres in the south of the country as the influx of migrants has surged. Immigration officials estimate that some 190,000 will arrive this year, second only to Germany in western Europe.

"This is a black day for Sweden," Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said of the attack on Thursday. "It is a tragedy that hits the entire country."

Police officers stand guard at a cordoned area after a masked man attacked people with a sword at a school in Trollhattan, western Sweden October 22, 2015. The masked man wielding a sword killed one person and wounded four at the school in western Sweden before being shot by police, authorities said on Thursday. The incident occurred at the Kronan school in Trollhattan, an industrial town of around 50,000 inhabitants north of Gothenburg. REUTERS/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT News Agency ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN. NO COMMERCIAL SALES.
Police officers stand guard at a cordoned area after a masked man attacked people with a sword at a school in Trollhattan, western Sweden October 22, 2015. The masked man wielding a sword killed one person and wounded four at the school in western Sweden before being shot by police, authorities said on Thursday. The incident occurred at the Kronan school in Trollhattan, an industrial town of around 50,000 inhabitants north of Gothenburg. REUTERS/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT News Agency ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN. NO COMMERCIAL SALES.

Police confirm surveillance videos show the assailant posed for photos with students before beginning his deadly rampage in the halls of the Kronan school in Trollhattan, a city of 56,000 people.

By the end of 2013, 10,373 people in Trollhattan were foreign-born, according to official figures, with most coming from the Middle East, the Balkans and Ethiopia. A majority of the students at Kronan are foreign-born.

Many students thought the attacker was playing a Halloween prank. News outlets posted a photo of a black-clad man they identified as the attacker wearing a military-style helmet and a black mask with a sword in his hand.

Panicked students fled the school, as police and ambulances rushed in. They found a dead male teacher and three people seriously wounded - two boys, aged 11 and 15, and another male teacher. One of the students later died of his wounds.

The condition of the 15-year-old victim had improved and his state was considered stable, said Ulrika Jisland, a spokeswoman for the Norra Alvsborgs Lanssjukhus hospital.

She said the 41-year-old teacher was considered to be in a "serious but stable" condition.

Officers fired two shots, hitting the attacker with a bullet in the lower chest, and he later died at a hospital.

Police said the assailant had entered the school through a cafe in its lobby that is open to the public, then knocked on the doors of two classrooms, stabbing his victims.

Late on Thursday, dozens of people gathered quietly to pay their respects outside the school, whose roughly 400 pupils range in age from pre-school to high school.

Sweden's last school attack was in 1961, when a 17-year-old man opened fire at a school dance hall in the south-western part of the country, wounding seven students, one of whom died later. Violent crime is rare in the country, which has strict gun-control laws. In 2013, there were 87 homicides reported in Sweden, a country of some 10 million people.

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