Victims in Malmö school attack were targeted at random, court hears

The 18-year-old student at Malmö Latin who has admitted to killing two female teachers at the school told a court on Tuesday that he attacked at random.

Victims in Malmö school attack were targeted at random, court hears
Flowers and a sign reading "Teachers are the most important" outside Malmö Latin School following the attack in March where two teachers were killed. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

“I was going to do everything at random,” said the attacker, who has not been named.

“The idea was to just attack the first person I saw. Of course, there were certain people I was hoping not to meet,” he told the court.

The 18-year-old has admitted to attacking and killing two teachers at Malmö Latin school on March 21st.

The attacker said he first began thinking about carrying out an attack the day before, on March 20th.

He told the court he had previously considered taking his own life but that a setback in his bid to get a driving licence pushed him to take action.

After he found out he couldn’t take his driving test the next year he locked himself in his bedroom in Trelleborg on the south coast of Sweden.

“That’s when I decided I can’t go on living like this. I’ve wanted to kill myself for a long time. I decided I need to put myself in a situation where there’s no turning back,” he told the court.

That evening he took the decision to carry out a random attack at his school the next day, the student said. He recorded three “farewell” videos that he later deleted.

Attacked ‘at random’

At the end of the school day, the attacker locked himself in a toilet cubicle.

He changed clothes and took weapons – an axe, knives and a hammer – out of his backpack.

He put on a mask, scarf and ear protectors, which he explained were used so he wouldn’t be able to see and hear his victims so clearly.

When a person in the next cubicle came out, the 18-year-old attacked.

“I was hoping it wouldn’t be someone I knew,” he said. “I saw it was my old maths teacher, I stopped, short-circuited.”

The teacher only managed to say “you gave me a fright!” before he inflicted the fatal blows.

He then chased another teacher who witnessed the violence down the corridor and attacked her. She later died of her injuries.

‘I wanted to show that I am a monster’

The attacker then locked himself in the bathroom and called the police before handing himself in.

When the prosecutor asked why he hadn’t sought psychological help he said: “I didn’t think it would help, I don’t deserve to talk to someone. Asking for help was out of the question.”

“I wanted to show that I am a monster,” he said.

The court hearing in Malmö will continue throughout the week.

As the minor mental examination already carried out on the 18-year-old has concluded that he may be suspected of having a serious mental disorder, his lawyer Anders Elison expects that his client will undergo a major forensic psychiatric examination before being sentenced.

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Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden.