Monday, December 6, 2021

German police: Train attacker stabs passengers ‘at random’

VIENNA (NWN) – A 27-year-old man who stabbed four people on a German high-speed train apparently made “random” attacks on his victims and showed signs of mental illness, officials said Sunday.

Police and investigators told reporters at the Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz that the attacker’s motives are still unclear, but there is currently no indication of a terroristic motive. The suspect was arrested on a train after Saturday’s attack, gave no resistance to police, and has since been taken to a psychiatric clinic.

Shortly before 9 a.m. on Saturday, police received a call that a man with a knife was attacking passengers on Intercity Express train 928, which was going from Regensburg to Nuremberg in southeastern Germany.

Using an 8-centimeter (3.1-inch) folding knife, the suspect previously stabbed a 26-year-old man in the same train car in the head. The suspect then attacked a 60-year-old man, who sustained injuries to his head and torso, and another 60-year-old man. He then ran into the car of another train and stabbed a 39-year-old man on the upper body.

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All four victims were local men. Two of the four remained in the hospital on Sunday.

Police said the suspect, a Syrian national, had come to Germany in 2014 and was granted asylum in 2016. He was living in Pasa and had reportedly lost his job a day before the attack.

Investigators said a preliminary evaluation showed he suffered from mental illness, including possible “paranoid schizophrenia,” said chief prosecutor Gerhard Neuhof.

The suspect reportedly admitted that police had followed him “for some time” and attacked his first victim because he felt the man was threatening him and “wanted to kill him,” Nehof said.

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