Knife attacks on a German train killed 2, injured 7; the motive remains unknown


A man in Germany fatally stabbed two people and injured seven others on the train before police finally arrested him on Wednesday.

“It’s terrible,” Schleswig-Holstein Interior Minister Sabina Sutterlin-Wack said in an interview with German public broadcaster NDR. “We are shocked and horrified that something like this happened.”

The man, identified as being in his 20s and 30s, boarded a train traveling from Kiel to Hamburg and attacked several passengers around 3:00 p.m. before the train reached Brockstadt station in northern Germany.

Several people did calls to the police when the attack occurred, officers were able to stop the train and apprehend the suspect. The railway station in Brockstedt remained closed for several hours.

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Forensic experts walk next to a train involved in a stabbing incident at a train station in Brockstadt, Germany, on January 25, 2023.

Forensic experts walk next to a train involved in a stabbing incident at a train station in Brockstadt, Germany, on January 25, 2023.
(Reuters/Fabian Beamer)

Three people were seriously injured, four others were lightly injured.

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Police took the suspect, who was also injured, to the hospital for treatment. Authorities did not provide any additional information about the suspect’s identity, but noted that the suspect does not appear on any terrorist watch lists based on preliminary checks.

A train stands at a station in Brockstedt, Germany, following a knife incident that occurred while the train was traveling between Kiel and Hamburg on January 25, 2023.

A train stands at a station in Brockstedt, Germany, following a knife incident that occurred while the train was traveling between Kiel and Hamburg on January 25, 2023.
(Reuters/Fabian Beamer)

Two hours after the attack, the police have not yet determined the motive and have not updated the information about the victims, according to the German publication DW.

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But the DPA news agency reported that the suspect was showed signs of mental illnessciting an unofficial source in the security services.

Medical examiners are shown on a train platform in Brockstadt, Germany, January 25, 2023. German police said a man fatally stabbed two people and injured seven others on a train before police finally arrested him.

Medical examiners are shown on a train platform in Brockstadt, Germany, January 25, 2023. German police said a man fatally stabbed two people and injured seven others on a train before police finally arrested him.
(Jonas Walzberg/DPA via AP)

Regional and federal police have joined the prosecutor’s office to investigate the attack, NDR reports.

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Train operator Deutsche Bahn expressed its condolences late Wednesday, saying “our deepest condolences go out to the families of the victims. We wish the victims a speedy and full recovery.”

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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