The attacker who stabbed one teacher and a boy to death at a school in Sweden before being shot and killed by police had a racist motive, police said on Friday.
Police labelled the stabbing in the industrial town of Trollhattan a so-called hate crime based on discoveries they made when searching the perpetrator’s home; the way he dressed, his behaviour at the scene and the way he selected his victims.
“All together, this gives a picture that the perpetrator had a racist motive when he committed the crimes at Kronan school,” police said in a statement.
“We have reached this conclusion based on what we found when we searched his apartment and his behaviour during the act, and also on the basis of how he selected his victims.”
A 21-year-old masked man, who has not been identified by police, entered the school in southern Sweden Thursday and stabbed four people, two of whom died, before he was shot by police. He later died of his injuries.
According to Swedish media, the assailant posed for photos with students before beginning his deadly rampage in the halls of the Kronan school in the town that has a large immigrant community. A majority of the students at Kronan are foreign-born.
Many students thought the attacker was playing a Halloween prank. News outlets posted a photo of a black-clad man they identified as the attacker wearing a military-style helmet and a black mask with a sword in his hand.
“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 student told news agency TT
Panicked students fled the school, as police and ambulances rushed in. They found a dead male teacher and three people seriously wounded - two boys, aged 11 and 15, and another male teacher. One of the students later died of his wounds. None of the victims have been identified.
Officers fired two shots, hitting the attacker with a bullet in the lower chest, and he later died at a hospital.
(With inputs from AFP)