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Police seek motive in deadly Sweden school attack

Police officers stand outside Malmoe Latin School the day after the attack, where two women were killed

Police in Sweden were Tuesday attempting to determine why an 18-year-old student allegedly killed two teachers at a high school a day earlier in an attack that has shaken the country. The two victims, both women in their 50s, were teachers at Malmo Latin, a creative arts high school with more than 1,000 students in Sweden’s third-biggest city, police said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Media reports said the suspect, whose name has not been disclosed, was armed with a knife and an axe, though police have not confirmed that information. Police chief Petra Stenkula said police had seized “several weapons that are not firearms” at the scene.

Investigators were now trying to determine whether the suspect specifically targeted his victims or chose them at random, and whether he had planned to attack more people.

“We don’t know yet if he had any connection to these employees”, Stenkula told reporters.

The student “has no criminal record”, she said, adding that police were looking into his background and movements prior to the attack.

Investigators were on Tuesday searching the suspect’s home in the nearby town of Trelleborg, she added. Police were alerted to the attack at 5:12 pm (1612 GMT) and a first patrol was able to enter the school minutes later. About 50 students and teachers were inside at the time, and news footage showed heavily equipped and armed police inspecting the interior of the building. 

“The suspect was arrested on the third floor just 10 minutes after the first alert, putting up no resistance. His two victims were lying on the floor nearby”, Stenkula said.

The teachers were rushed to hospital for treatment but their deaths were announced later in the evening. According to daily Aftonbladet, the alleged attacker called emergency services to say where he was and that he had laid down his weapons, and confessed to the killings.

© Agence France-Presse

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