• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Trollhättan school attack
Three dead, two hurt in Swedish school attack
Tributes left outside the school in Trollhättan on Thursday. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

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.

 
"The assailant knocked on two classroom doors and he attacked the two students who opened the doors," police investigator Thord Haraldsson told a press conference in Trollhättan.
 
He said that officers called to the scene had fired two shots, with one of them hitting the assailant, after the suspect had first attempted to attack the police.
 
Haraldsson said if the police hadn't reacted as quickly as they did, the situation could have been much worse. Pre-school children had been visiting the school's library earlier in the day.
 
Some pupils have described how they initially thought the man's appearance was a prank.
 
"When we first saw him, we thought it was a joke. He was wearing a mask and black clothes and (carrying) a long sword. Some students wanted to take their picture with him and feel the sword," one unidentified pupil told TT.
 
A picture reported to be of the alleged attacker was circulating in Swedish media on Thursday afternoon. 
 
 
 
The scene outside the school shortly after the attacks. Photo: Mikael Svantesson.
 
A teenage student at the school told The Local of the moment he realised what was happening:

“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."

An ambulance crashed into the school wall as it arrived at the scene. Photo: Mikael Svantesson.
 
Trollhättan is an industrial town in west Sweden with around 50,000 residents.
 
Around 400 pupils are understood to be taught at the school, aged between six and 15.
 
According to Sweden's education watchdog, the Swedish Schools Inspectorate, only 16 percent of 15-year-olds at the school passed all subjects in 2014. It is among the 10 worst performing schools in Sweden.
 
"This is a school where problems have been picked up in a recent national inspection," Larz Blomqvist, chairman of the teacher's union in the municipality, told The Local.
 
"It's been hard to provide quiet and proper teaching...there's been bad behaviour and a sort of lack of control."
 
He disputed suggestions that the attack could have been a result of racial tensions in the area.
 
Story continues below…
"No, no, I doubt it. I don't have the full information but that sounds very unlikely."
 
 
Ribana Boskovic, 20, lives two minutes from the school, which she said her sister attended and enjoyed. She told The Local on Thursday morning that she could see ten police cars from her window.
 
"There are a lot of people outside the school. A lot of people are crying because they’re so worried. It’s very chaotic; parents are running around to find their children," she said.
 
"My mum is feeling really bad at the moment, even though my sister is safe I’m very stressed and worried. I can’t understand why it happened here."
 
Local authorities sent a crisis group to the scene to look after students and staff.

“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.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Sweden to sizzle in the sun for a few more days
The beach at Båstad on Saturday. Photo: TT

The heatwave that hit most of Sweden last week is set to continue until Wednesday at least, according to Swedish weather forecaster, SMHI.

Swedish ex-prime minister Thorbjorn Fälldin dead at 90
Fälldin in 1981. Photo: TT/FLT-PICA

Thorbjorn Fälldin, the former farmer who became prime minister in Sweden's first non-Social Democratic government since World War II, has died at the age of 90.

Swedish police fear serial rapist on loose in Malmö
The attacker is thought to be in his mid-twenties and had been seen riding his bike in the area prior to the incident. Photo:TT

The rape of a 14-year-old girl in Malmö has led police to conjecture that there may be a serial rapist operating in the southern Swedish city.

Stockholm Pokémon hunter impaled on metal fence spike
Another Swede playing Pokémon Go in Stockholm. Photo: Izabelle Nordfjell/TT

He tried to climb a fence to find more Pokémon.

Video
When Alicia Vikander taught us to put our pen in the bottle
Swedish actress Alicia Vikander and US talkshow host Jimmy Fallon. Photo: Tonight Show/NBC/Screenshot

We're not even sure if that's a euphemism or not.

Muslim man fired for not shaking women's hands
File photo of people shaking hands. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

A man is suing a local council in Sweden after he lost his job for refusing to shake hands with female colleagues.

Swedish bus driver who hit asylum seeker: 'I'm not racist'
The story has grabbed global headlines. Photo: Nobina

A Swedish bus driver caught on camera beating and kicking an asylum seeker has for the first time spoken to media.

Stay out, the water's filthy! Germs ruin Swedes' swims
Seagulls only.

Fancy a dip? If so, you might want to keep your mouth shut.

Man kicked off flight from Sweden over 'Isis tattoo'
A Norwegian plane at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A flight from Stockholm was delayed on Thursday after it was claimed that one of the passengers had an Isis flag tattooed on his arm.

Homes
In pictures: Are Swedes falling in love with colour at last?
What happened to the Swedish greyscale? Photo: Linda Åhman

Antonia Wiklund of Houzz.se investigates why the Swedes are abandoning their sleek and clean interior design for vibrant colours.

Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
National
Watch this Swedish weather host leave his fly open... on live TV
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
The Local Voices
'I fled war in Syria. I never expected to be beaten in Sweden'
National
WATCH: Asylum seeker brutally beaten by Swedish bus driver
Blog updates

14 July

Boris Johnson: why Britain’s new foreign minister is cordially loathed (Globally Local) »

"There are lots of things to say about Boris Johnson, Britain’s new foreign secretary. He is…" READ »

 

11 July

Swedish quizzes (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I have created some quizzes you can take online to test your Swedish skills. Here…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Technology
Why everyone is talking about Sweden's GTA pride parade
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
EU hits truck cartel with record price fixing fine
Society
OPINION: Why Sweden is the most extreme country in the world
The Local Voices
'There is equality in accommodation in Sweden: Everyone is suffering'
Sponsored Article
What can newcomers learn about Sweden at Almedalen?
Gallery
Property of the week: Gräsö, Östhammar
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th-17th
National
How to make sure you're not caught out by Sweden's old bank notes
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Business & Money
Why Sweden has been named the most innovative country in Europe
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
National
Terror attack: what should you do?
National
French expat on the moment he was assaulted by a Stockholm bouncer
Technology
Gunman? Nah, smartphone Swede
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
The Local Voices
'If the war in Syria ended today, would you go back?'
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
The Local Voices
‘I feel like I’m living in a grave!’
Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of Berlin
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Victoria celebrates 39th birthday
Sponsored Article
Why you need a EuroBonus American Express Card
Gallery
People-watching: July 13th
National
Swedes discover surprise mountain
Politics
What Sweden's home secretary thinks of Britain's new PM
Gallery
Property of the week: Smedjebacken, Dalarna
The Local Voices
'Even xenophobic Swedes can be polite’
Politics
WATCH: A very Swedish take on Brexit...
National
Swede's fury at Daily Mail's Bråvalla 'lies'
Gallery
People-watching: July 8th-10th
National
Sweden and Denmark trolled each other on Twitter and it's hilarious
The Local Voices
'The best time to be smuggled to Europe is August 20th, 2015'
National
ANALYSIS: Why Swedes are talking more about immigration than before
National
Watch Icelanders cheer their Swedish hero coach
The Local Voices
Swedes: Stop obsessing over your material life and start talking to strangers
3,336
jobs available