The man who stabbed two people to death at a school in Sweden before being shot and killed by police had a racist motive and had carefully planned the attack, police have confirmed.
Police have since confirmed that Anton Lundin Pettersson, 21, earlier identified by Swedish media as the murderer, was the attacker.
Officers labelled the stabbing in the industrial town of Trollhattan a hate crime based on discoveries they made when searching his home, the way he dressed, and the way he selected his victims. “All together, this gives a picture that the perpetrator had a racist motive when he committed the crimes at Kronan school,” police said.
The 21-year-old entered the school in southern Sweden on Thursday and stabbed four people, two of whom died, before he was shot by police. He later died of his wounds.
Senior police officer Niclas Hallgren said surveillance videos show the attacker roaming inside the school with a sword and a sharp knife, adding that “his way of marching points to Nazism”.
Evidence shows he acted alone and police found “a kind of suicide note” in his flat after the stabbing, investigator Thord Haraldsson added.
Police also found the sword’s scabbard inside a car parked near the school, Haraldsson said.
None of the victims have been identified by police or health officials.
However, a local newspaper cited relatives as saying the victims were 20-year-old Lavin Eskandar, a mentor at the school, and Ahmed Hassan, a 15-year-old student.
Both died from their stab wounds.
The attack stunned Sweden, where violent crime is relatively rare, though there has been a recent spate of arson attacks on asylum centres in the south of the country as the influx of migrants has surged.
It is estimated that some 190,000 will arrive this year.