Three dead, two hurt in Swedish school attack
TT/AFP/The Local · 23 Oct 2015, 07:13
Published: 22 Oct 2015 10:51 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Oct 2015 07:13 GMT+02:00
- 21-year-old suspect confirmed dead
- Teenage student and teacher dead and another pupil and teacher being treated in hospital
- 'If I had not run, I would have been murdered,' student tells The Local
- PM Stefan Löfven: 'A dark day for Sweden'
The attack took place on Thursday morning at the school, around 75km from Gothenburg, after a man wearing a mask walked into a building on the premises wielding "several knife-like objects", police said.
One male teacher, 20, died following the incident, along with a pupil, whose age was confirmed by police in the evening as 17, despite initial statements suggesting he was 11.
A 21-year-old suspect was confirmed dead just after 4pm, with officials adding that they did not think that anyone else was involved. Another teacher and an older pupil are understood to remain in hospital.
“I was in a classroom with my class when 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.”
“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. I’m feeling really scared. Everyone’s scared here."
“The group is composed of seven municipal employees, whose job it is to provide comfort and support during the emergency situation,” said Per Ivarsson, internal communications manager at Trollhättan’s local council.
Sweden's Social Democrat Prime Minister Stefan Löfven visited the town to meet some of those affected on Thursday evening.
“What must never happen, has happened here today," he said at a press conference. "I am here to express mine, the government's and the whole of Sweden's sympathy and sorrow."
“School should be a place for playing, for curiosity and friendship. It's a dark day for Sweden. (...) I want all school children in Sweden to know that I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure you feel safe when you go to school," he said.
"We're going to embrace those we love [tonight] and think of those who no longer are able to do that. Take care of each other. Together we take care of Sweden," urged Löfven.
Stefan Löfven speaking in Trollhättan. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
Gustav Fridolin, education minister and co-head of the Green Party, the junior partner in Löfven's coalition, gave a statement to The Local before the prime minister's press conference.
"This was not an attack against an individual school, it was an attack against the whole of Sweden," he said.
"Many pupils throughout the country will now need to be given the chance to express their concern and ask questions. We must be able to give our children a safe school environment,” he added.
Mass violence at schools is rare in Sweden. A 1961 school shooting in Kungälv, in south-western Sweden, left one person dead and six others injured.
No shootings have occurred since then, although at least one attack has been foiled, in the southern city of Malmö in 2004. Other threats have been issued but not followed through.
Police in Trollhättan explained that there had been a threat against another school in the area (Stavreskolan) on Wednesday but said that nothing had come of this.
Birgitta Lindström Sundefors, head of the local council's education department, said that the attacked school would remain closed on Friday.