A masked man entered a school in Sweden this week wielding a knife and a sword, killing one teacher and a student and injuring at least two others before being killed by police.
Police spokesman Thomas Fuxborg said the attack occurred around 10 a.m. at the Kronan School’s cafe in Trollhattan, just north of Goteburg, the second-largest city in Sweden. By the time law enforcement arrived on the scene, Fuxborg said, one teacher was already dead. A second teacher, along with two students, aged 11 and 15, were injured. One of the students died from their wounds, writes Louise Dewast for ABC News.
“People inside locked themselves inside class rooms, in cleaning cabinets,” Fuxborg added.
A student at the school, 14-year-old Laith Alazze, said that at first he thought the attack was part of a Halloween prank because the attacker wore all black with a mask.
“One of my friends walked over to him to challenge him, but when we saw he stabbed him [the teacher], we ran away,” Alazze told local media.
Foxboro said that police fired two shots at the attacker, one of which hit the man, who was determined to be a 21-year-old man from Trollhattan. His motive has yet to be discovered. He was hit once in his lower chest and died later that day at the hospital.
While investigators were not specific with regard to the weapons used in the attack, it is known that he had at least one large knife, and possibly a second, which may have been a sword.
Only hours before the attack took place, a meeting had been held at the school to address concerns brought up by teachers that the school was too open. In particular they worried about the cafe, which was meant for adults. Many suggested that it was too difficult to know who was coming in, reports Jason Silverstein for The New York Daily News.
The cafe is used by students on a daily basis, as it is the only way to enter the school’s cafeteria and a number of other parts of the building.
“My thoughts go out to the victims and their families, the students and staff, and the whole community that has been affected,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told the Associated Press. “No words can describe what they are going through right now.”
Lofven called Thursday a “black day.” Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf noted that the country was “in shock,” and the royal family heard the news “with great dismay and sadness.”
The Kronan School serves 400 students ranging in age from preschool to high school.