A masked attacker armed with several “knife-like” weapons killed a teacher and a boy at a school in western Sweden on Thursday and left two others fighting for their lives, police said in a press conference.
Officers shot the 21-year-old attacker at the Kronan school in Trollhattan, the daily Dagens Nyheter reported. He died later in hospital.
Another teacher and student underwent surgery for their injuries, which doctors described as serious but stable.
Investigators described his weapons as “knife-like” but were unable to give further details.
Pupils told television reporters that they thought the black-clad attacker was playing a Halloween joke. “Some students wanted to take a picture of him and touch his sword,” one said.
The man reportedly knocked on the doors of two classrooms and stabbed the people inside when they opened. One male teacher died at the scene and another student died later in hospital.
Police have as of yet found no direct link between the man, thought to be from Trollhattan, situated 80 kilometres north of Gothenburg, and the school.
While a motive is yet to be established, police said that items were found in the man’s flat which would be “of interest to the investigation.” No further details were given.
A spokesman declined to comment when journalists at the conference asked if the attack was racially motivated.
Panic erupted at the Kronan school, which enrolls about 400 children aged 6 to 15, police said. “It is a terrible tragedy, and the people are very anxious,” a police spokesman told the media.
The attack is thought to have taken place in the cafe, which is accessible to the public.
An opposition politician told Swedish media that security at the school has been repeatedly criticized.
Swedish King Carl Gustav offered his sympathies to the victims on Thursday. “Sweden is in shock,” he said in a statement.
Crime experts have said that this attack was the first of its kind on Swedish soil.