Copenhagen, Mar 3 (efe-epa).- Swedish police are seeking to determine whether terrorism was the motive for attacks in the southern town of Vetlanda that left eight people wounded.
“As it is now, we have started a preliminary investigation into attempted murder. That is the criminal classification we have. There are details in the investigation that make us investigate any terrorist motives, but at the moment I cannot go into details,” regional police commander Malena Grann told reporters.
Police responding to the report of the attacks shot and wounded the suspect and he is in custody at a hospital in the town of around 13,000 residents.
The victims are also being treated at area hospitals.
Early eyewitness reports said that the suspected perpetrator was wielding an ax in the town center, which has been cordoned off while police investigate the scene, but authorities spoke only of a “sharp weapon” and some media outlets said the suspect used a knife.
The first call to police came at around 3:00 pm.
Vetlanda’s police chief, Jonas Lindell, said the attacks occurred at five different crime scenes within a few hundred meters (yards) of each other.
He identified the suspect only as an area resident in his 20s with a record of arrests for “petty crimes.”
Police have no reason to believe anyone else was involved, according to Lindell.
“We face these despicable actions with the combined force of the community,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said in a statement condemning the “horrific violence” in Vetlanda.
“We are reminded of how frail our safe existence is,” Löfven added. EFE