A man with a knife killed two people and injured seven others on a regional train running from Kiel to Hamburg on Wednesday.
A suspect was arrested at a small train station in the town of Brokstedt shortly after the crime.
The Minister of the Interior of the state of Schleswig-Holstein, Sabine Sutterlin-Wack, rushed to the scene shortly after being informed of the news. She told reporters in Bruckstedt on Wednesday night that the suspect was a stateless man from the Palestinian territories.
Reports of the young man’s age differed slightly in the hours following the attack. But police said a 33-year-old suspect was taken to hospital during his arrest to treat minor injuries.
Three of the wounded had serious injuries and four had minor injuries.
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Visser wrote on Twitter: “All our thoughts are with the victims and their families of this horrific crime.”
She said she reached out to fellow regional Sütterlin-Waack for support.
“The background investigation of this crime is now being conducted with the highest priority,” Visser said. “My thanks go out to the police and emergency services.”
National and regional politicians and local religious leaders have also issued similar messages of condolence or distress.
What do we know so far?
Police said the attack took place as the train was approaching Bruckstedt, a small district of about 2,000 people north of Hamburg. A suspect was arrested when the train arrived at Brockstedt station. Several passengers called emergency services from the train.
Police later said that three passengers eventually managed to restrain the suspected attacker on board, and that police arrived at the scene with him under their control.
There were approximately 70 passengers on board. Police took their statements at a nearby location.
The station has been closed to allow emergency services and forensic teams to operate on site. Railroad providers reported disturbances in the area as a result.
According to the police, additional details remained elusive about two hours after the attack. Neither the motives or suspected reasons for the attacker’s actions nor the condition of the injured were entirely clear.
Police said the suspect is not believed to have been on any extremist watch lists, based on initial checks.
The German News Agency (dpa) also reported, but this time quoting security sources who spoke unofficially, that the man was showing signs of mental illness.
The district home minister, Suttlerin Wack of the Christian Democrats, was informed of the crime while in the state parliament. She first consulted with the country’s prime minister, Daniel Gunther. By evening, I reached Brokstedt.
Milliu/nm (AFP, dpa)
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