Würzburg, Germany – Investigators were looking into the motive behind an attack in the German city of Würzburg on Saturday in which a man armed with a long knife killed three people and injured at least five others.
The 24-year-old Somali suspect was shot in the leg by police and arrested after Friday afternoon’s attack in the southern city’s downtown area. Police said there was no threat to his life and he was being questioned at the hospital.
Bavaria’s top security official, Joachim Herrmann, said the suspect was known to police and had been admitted to a psychiatric unit a few days ago. He told news agency DPA late Friday that he could not rule out an Islamic extremist motive because a witness heard the suspect shouting “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for “God is great.”
The man had lived in Würzburg since 2015, most recently in a shelter for the homeless. Apparently he did not know the victims. People lit flowers and candles at the site of the incident.
Videos posted on social media showed passersby surrounding the attacker and trying to catch him with chairs and sticks.
Bavarian governor Marcus Soeder praised the “really impressive dedication” of those who tried to stop the man. “Now the circumstances have to be clear, the motive,” he said in a statement to reporters in Nuremberg.
“All Bavaria is in mourning today,” said Soeder, who said he would order flags to be flown at half-staff in the state.