A knife-wielding man killed two people and injured seven others on a regional train traveling from Kiel to Hamburg on Wednesday.
A suspect was arrested at a small train station in the town of Broxted shortly after the crime.
The interior minister of the state of Schleswig-Holstein, Sabine Süterlin-Waack, rushed to the scene soon after she was informed of the news. Speaking to reporters in Brokshet on Wednesday evening, she said the suspect was a stateless man from the Palestinian territories.
Reports of the young man’s age have varied slightly in the hours since the attack. But police said a 33-year-old suspect was taken to hospital while he was arrested for treatment of minor injuries.
Three of the injured are seriously injured, four are less injured.
Federal Home Secretary Nancy Fazer tweeted: “All our thoughts are with the victims of this horrific crime and their families.”
She said she contacted her regional counterpart Sütterlin-Waack to offer support.
“The background to this crime is now being investigated as a high priority,” Feiser said. “My heartfelt thanks to the police and emergency services.”
Other national and regional politicians and local religious leaders also issued similar messages of condolence or distress.
What else do we know so far?
Police said the attack took place as the train approached Brokstet, a small community of about 2,000 people north of Hamburg. A suspect was arrested when the train reached Brokstedt station. Multiple passengers called 911 from the train.
Police later said three passengers were eventually able to detain the suspected attacker on board and that police arrived at the scene with him under their control.
A total of about 70 passengers traveled in the train. Police took statements from them at a nearby site.
The station was closed so emergency crews and forensics could work at the scene. Rail providers have reported disruptions in the area as a result.
Police said further details remained elusive for about two hours after the attack. Neither the alleged motives and reasons for the attacker’s actions nor the condition of the injured are clear.
Police said the suspect was not believed to be on extremist watch lists, based on preliminary checks.
The dpa news agency also reported, this time citing security sources as saying off the record that the man was showing signs of psychiatric illness.
The interior minister of the Sütlen-Waak region from the Christian Democrats was informed of the crime while he was in the state parliament. She first consulted with state premier Daniel Gunther. Early in the evening she arrived at Brokstedt.
msh/nm (AFP, dpa)