In a regional train from Kiel to Hamburg, a man killed two people with a knife and injured seven others on Wednesday.
A suspect was arrested shortly after the crime at a small train station in the town of Brokstedt.
The interior minister of Schleswig-Holstein, Sabine Sütterlin-Waack, rushed to the scene of the crime shortly after the news broke. She told reporters in Brokstedt on Wednesday evening that the suspect was a stateless person from the Palestinian Territories.
Reports on the young man’s age varied slightly in the hours following the attack. However, police said a 33-year-old suspect was taken to hospital during the arrest to treat minor injuries.
Two dead in knife attack on Deutsche Bahn
Three of the injured were seriously injured, four suffered minor injuries.
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser wrote on Twitter: “Our thoughts are with the victims of this terrible crime and their families.”
She said she reached out to her regional colleague Sütterlin-Waack to offer support.
“The background to this crime is now being investigated with high priority,” said Faeser. “I thank the police and the emergency services from the bottom of my heart.”
Other national and regional politicians and local religious leaders also conveyed similar messages of condolence or despair.
Police said a suspect was arrested shortly after the attack at Brokstedt station. Image: Jonas Walzberg/dpa/Picture Alliance
What do we know so far?
Police said the attack took place as the train was approaching Brokstedt, a small community of about 2,000 people north of Hamburg. A suspect was arrested as the train reached Brokstedt station. Several travelers had called the emergency services from the train.
Police later said that three passengers finally managed to get the suspected attacker on board and that police arrived at the scene with him under their control.
A total of around 70 passengers were on board the train. Police took statements from them at a location nearby.
The station was closed to allow emergency services and forensic teams to work on site. The railway operators then reported disturbances in the area.
According to police, further details remained elusive around two hours after the attack. Neither the suspected motives or reasons for the attacker’s actions nor the condition of the injured were entirely clear.
Police said the suspect was not on an extremist watch list according to preliminary checks.
The dpa news agency also reported, this time citing secret security circles, that the man was showing signs of mental illness.
The interior minister of the region, Süttlerin-Waack from the CDU, was informed about the crime in the state parliament. First she consulted Prime Minister Daniel Günther. She had arrived in Brokstedt in the early evening.
msh/nm (AFP, dpa)