Saturday 1 October 2016

Slain attacker wore 'Star Wars' mask during deadly school attack in Sweden

Teacher and student confirmed dead, two others wounded

David Kearns

Published 22/10/2015 | 11:31

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)
Onlookers stand outside a cordoned area after a masked man attacked people with a sword at a school in Trollhattan Credit: Bjorn Larsson Rosvall (TT News Agency)
Emergency services attend the scene after a masked man attacked people with a sword at the Kronan school in Trollhattan Credit: Stig Hedstrm (TT via AP)
Police officers stand guard at a cordoned area after the masked man attacked four people at the school Credit: Bjorn Larsson Rosvall (TT News Agency)

Sweden police shot and killed a masked swordsman after he left two dead in an attack on a school packed with hundreds of students.

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A teacher and pupil at a school in Trollhättan, an industrial city near Gothenburg, are confirmed to have died after they were stabbed by the masked attacker after he entered the building at about 10 am on Thursday.

Another teacher and pupil seriously wounded in the attack are undergoing surgery at a nearby hospital, police said.

As of yet there has been no motive for the attack, and police said a search of the suspect’s home was underway.

It is understood that the attacker was 21-year-old resident of the industrial town, and photos have emerged of him allegedly posing with students at the school dressed in a mask and black costume, holding a sword.  

A student at the school has provided a photo, apparently showing the attacker posing in the school corridor, moments before the attacks.

It shows a man wearing black, with a helmet, a mask and a sword, possibly resembling a Nazi World War Two uniform.   

Eyewitnesses described chaos at the school, with hundreds of students fleeing from the building screaming.  

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)
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)

One teacher died of his wounds at the scene, while one of the students attacked passed away after being rushed to hospital alongside a fellow pupil and another teacher.

A girl in the eighth grade told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter that she was in a maths lesson when they saw a man "wearing a Star Wars mask" in the corridor.

"We thought it was a Halloween joke," she said.

"He was completely dressed in black and had a mask.”

The girl said her teacher went out into the corridor and tried to remove the mask, and it was then the man attacked and stabbed with the sword.

Another student was quoted as saying: “I was in a classroom with my class when one of my classmates' sisters called her to warn her that there was a murderer at the school.

“So we locked the door to the classroom, but our teacher was still outside in the corridor.

"We wanted to warn him, so a few of us went outside and then I saw the murderer, he was wearing a mask and had a sword. Our teacher got stabbed.

"The murderer started chasing me, I ran into another classroom. If I had not run, I would have been murdered.

“I'm feeling really scared. Everyone's scared here."

There are conflicting reports as to whether the 21-year-old was armed with a knife or a sword, or both, when he entered the school.

Police officers stand guard at a cordoned area after the masked man attacked four people at the school Credit: Bjorn Larsson Rosvall (TT News Agency)
Police officers stand guard at a cordoned area after the masked man attacked four people at the school Credit: Bjorn Larsson Rosvall (TT News Agency)

Police spokesman Thomas Fuxborg said armed officers were called to the school at around 10am after a masked man wielding “a knife or sword”  entered the building and attacked a person in the cafeteria.

“Two shots were fired, one of hitting the attacker in the chest,” he added.

“He was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds and has since died.”

Police officers are seen at a school in Trollhattan Credit: Bjorn Larsson Rosvall (TT News Agency)
Police officers are seen at a school in Trollhattan Credit: Bjorn Larsson Rosvall (TT News Agency)

There were around 400 students in the school when the attack took place.

Sweden's prime minister, Stefan Lofven, will travel to Trollhattan this afternoon.

He said it was a "black day for Sweden".

"I think of the victims and their families, students and staff, and the whole of the affected community. No words can describe what they are going through right now. We must ensure that they receive all the support they need," he said.

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