A student and teacher have been stabbed to death in a violent sword attack on a school in the western Swedish town of Trollhattan.
The male attacker, identified in Swedish media as 21-year-old Anton Lundin-Pettersson, was shot by police and has since died of his injuries. It is believed that he harboured radical right-wing tendencies.
Two male students and another teacher from the Kronan School were rushed to hospital. One of the students, aged 17, has since died. The other student, aged 15, and the 41-year-old teacher are currently being treated in intensive care after sustaining knife injuries. At this stage their condition is serious but stable.
A student witness told Swedish broadcaster SVT that initially everyone thought the attack was a joke. “He had a mask and black clothes and a long sword. There were students who wanted to go with him and hold the sword,” he said. Mr Lundin-Pettersson reportedly posed for a photograph with students prior to the incident.
The Kronan School enrols a high proportion of immigrants, which has led authorities to suspect that Mr Lundin-Pettersson may have had racist inclinations.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven labelled the day as “a black day for Sweden.”
Swedish King Carl Gustaf also expressed his sympathies, and said the nation was “in shock” following the attack and the royal family received the news “with great dismay and sadness.”
According to police, several knives were used throughout the incident.
Police have conducted searches of Mr Lundin-Pettersson’s home, with spokesperson Thord Haraldsson confirming that “interesting” things were found.
Mr Lundin-Pettersson’s social media profiles and YouTube account have also been checked, indicating a strong interest in Hitler and Nazi Germany. Photographic evidence uncovered depicts him wearing a black trench coat and a helmet, similar to those worn by the German army during World War Two. – Samantha Barrie
Top photo of Swedish police outside the Kronan School from BBC’s TV coverage.