Dead and injured in knife attack in Zug
It is shortly before 3 p.m. when a regional train in Schleswig-Holstein suddenly becomes the scene of a crime: two people die and seven are injured. Witnesses can overpower the perpetrator.
There must have been terrible scenes in the regional express: an attacker killed two people and injured seven on the train traveling from Kiel to Hamburg. Dozens of people witnessed the crime, brave passengers probably prevented worse.
The alleged attacker is a stateless Palestinian, as Schleswig-Holstein’s Interior Minister Sabine Sütterlin-Waack (CDU) said in the evening at the train station in Brokstedt. The 33-year-old was taken to hospital with minor injuries, police said. “The background is still unclear, as is the identity of the victims,” said a police spokeswoman. There were initial indications that the alleged attacker could be mentally disturbed. The German press agency learned this from security circles. According to preliminary findings, he had not been noticed as an extremist in northern Germany.
According to the police, witnesses held the attacker. Accordingly, the helpers managed to stop the suspect immediately after the crime until the emergency services arrived. They “probably prevented the perpetrator from committing worse things,” said Sütterlin-Waack, and thanked those who were “brave enough” to “oppose the perpetrator.” A press conference with Sütterlin-Waack and a senior police officer was expected for Thursday morning. The railway set up a hotline for those affected and their relatives.
Questioning the witnesses in the inn
At the time of the attack, around 120 people were on the train, according to a police spokeswoman in Itzehoe. “It must have been a very big mess.” About 70 witnesses were questioned and cared for by the police at a nearby inn. As a dpa reporter reported in the evening, the train was driven away from the station in Brokstedt hours after the crime. The forensics team was deployed with several forces. Forensics officers in white protective overalls worked at a level crossing with open barriers.
A woman from Bad Bramstedt was waiting for her daughter a few meters from the train station. The 18-year-old student was returning from the university in Kiel by train. “She saw a person stab someone four rows in front of her,” the mother said. She is currently unable to speak to her daughter, only write, said the visibly moved woman. The daughter is still waiting to make a statement to the police. The young woman was unharmed. “But I think she’s doing badly. What kind of people do that?” Said the mother.
“All our thoughts are with the victims of this terrible act and their families,” tweeted Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD), speaking of “shattering news.” Schleswig-Holstein’s Prime Minister Daniel Günther (CDU) spoke of a terrible and senseless act that cost the lives of two people. “Schleswig-Holstein is mourning – it’s a terrible day,” said Günther in Kiel.
Silent witnesses of the terrible events
Small signs with numbers distributed on the platform testified to the terrible events that had taken place on the train shortly before. Investigators walked the platform with cameras, next to which the regional train “RE70 Hamburg Hbf” was standing. A bakery just a few meters from the train station served hot drinks and baked goods to rescue workers and passengers. “It goes without saying for us,” said one saleswoman.
Around 3 p.m., the police had received several calls from passengers. The train was stopped upon notification, after which the events had shifted to the platform, according to the spokeswoman. The crime happened just before 3 p.m. before the train arrived at Brokstedt station in the Steinburg district. Brokstedt is a small community on the railway line between Elmshorn and Neumünster.
State Interior Minister Sütterlin-Waack said she was “in her thoughts with the families and relatives of the victims” and thanked “the police officers who arrested the perpetrator and all rescue workers who took care of the injured”. Federal and state police worked closely together. “For me it is clear that the horrible act is against all humanity.”
According to the railways, train traffic between Flensburg and Hamburg and between Kiel and Hamburg was impaired for several hours. Deutsche Bahn said in the evening: “Our deepest sympathy belongs to the relatives of the victims. We wish the injured a speedy and full recovery.”