Teacher and student die in savage attack by masked man with sword
A masked man brandishing a sword attacked a school in southern Sweden, killing a teacher and student before being shot dead by police, in what police are calling "one of the worst events in the country's history".
The man, who is in his 20s, entered Kronan School in Trollhättan shortly after 10am, after which he began moving between classrooms.
One teacher and one boy of 12 was killed in the terrifying ordeal, while a 15-year-old boy was still being treated in hospital for serious stab wounds yesterday afternoon.
Lars Spetz, a senior consultant at the nearby NÄL hospital, said in a press conference that two of the wounded were in an "extremely precarious condition".
Laith, a 14-year-old student at the school, said afterwards that neither pupils nor staff had initially realised what was happening and thought the mask had something to do with Halloween.
"When we first saw him we thought it was a joke. He had a mask and black clothes and a long sword," he told Sweden's SVT channel.
"There were pupils who wanted to take pictures with him and feel the sword."
One young student who took a picture of the attacker said she had no idea that the blood on the large knife he was holding was real.
A teacher came out of the classroom and told the 21-year-old to leave as he was scaring the children.
"He just nodded, then he plunged the knife into the teacher's right side. The last thing I heard him say was 'call an ambulance'."
Another pupil told of how he had witnessed the teacher being stabbed.
"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," he said.
"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."
Kronan school, which has 400 pupils between the ages of six and 15, has faced social problems in the past, Fahimeh Nordborg in Trollhättan's education department told 'Expressen' newspaper.
"What's happened is extremely serious," she said. "I know that there have been problems in the school previously as well."
Trollhättan, an industrial town 75km north of Gothenburg, is best known as the home of Saab Automobile's factory, which finally stopped production in May last year.
Two boys, aged 16 and 17, were arrested in the capital Stockholm in 2007 for conspiring to murder their school's headmaster and janitor in an attack.
The headmaster said that planned attack had been inspired by a similar incident at Jokela High School in Finland that year.
(© Daily Telegraph London)