Tuesday 19 November 2019

Chainsaw attack suspect arrested in Switzerland

The suspect has been arrested
The suspect has been arrested

The suspect in a chainsaw attack on a health insurer's office in Switzerland that left five people wounded has been caught after more than a day on the run, police said.

Franz Wrousis was arrested in Thalwil, some 45 kilometres (28 miles) from the scene of Monday morning's attack in Schaffhausen, police said.

The lakeside town is in Zurich canton (state), Schaffhausen's southern neighbour.

Police issued a brief statement announcing the arrest but said they would give no further details before a news conference scheduled in Schaffhausen on Wednesday.

Authorities had issued an international arrest warrant for Wrousis, whom they described as aggressive and psychologically unstable.

They said the 50-year-old has two previous convictions for weapons offences and no fixed residence.

Wrousis is accused of attacking two employees of a health insurance company at their office in Schaffhausen's old town.

One of them was seriously hurt, though the injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Authorities said Wrousis, a client of health insurer CSS, targeted the agency, although a motive remains unclear.

Two customers were treated for shock after they witnessed the attack, and another person was slightly injured during the subsequent police operation.

All but one of the five have left hospital.

In recent weeks, Wrousis was seen several times in forests just south of Schaffhausen.

Police found a minivan he was believed to have been driving shortly after the attack, and searched the region near the German border with helicopters and sniffer dogs.

On Tuesday, they urged people to exercise caution when in the area's forests as long as the suspect remained at large.

As the manhunt continued, the insurance company said it was keeping its offices in Schaffhausen and five other nearby towns closed for now "in view of yesterday's attack".

Police had described Wrousis as potentially dangerous and warned he might be armed.

They also published several photos of the suspect, one of them taken shortly before the attack.

It showed a tall, balding man with short brown hair walking along a street in a green jacket carrying a large black bag.


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