Posted on May 10, 2016

One Dead, Three Injured in Munich Knife Attack, Authorities Say

ABC, May 10, 2016

A German man who officials said had drug and psychological problems has stabbed one person to death and slashed three more in a bloody dawn attack at a railway station near Munich.

Police said they had arrested a 27-year-old German national who knifed four people around 5:00am (local time) on Tuesday at the commuter railway station of the small town of Grafing, east of Munich.

One of the victims, a 56-year-old man, later died of his injuries in hospital. Authorities had earlier wrongly given his age as 50.

The others injured were men aged 43, 55 and 58. One of the victims was seriously hurt, the other two more lightly injured.

Police and prosecutors initially said the attack appeared to be “politically motivated” and with an apparent Islamist motive after eye witnesses had reported hearing him scream “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest).

But, hours later, Bavaria state’s interior ministry said that “so far we have no evidence for an Islamist motive, but the investigation continues”.

“We have found the man had psychological and drug problems,” ministry spokesman Oliver Platzer said.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that “from Berlin I don’t want to feed and evaluate speculation about the motive”.

Bavaria state’s interior minister Joachim Hermann said the attacker, named locally as Paul H, was a German national. Authorities said he hailed from central Hesse state and did not have a migrant background.

“As to what extent there were other background factors, or whether this is more about questions of mental instability or drug addiction, still needs to be investigated,” Mr Hermann said on BR24 television.

Earlier Ken Heidenreich, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, had said: “[The] assailant made remarks at the scene of the crime that indicate a political motive — apparently an Islamist motive … We are still determining what the exact remarks were.”

In the dawn attack, the assailant stabbed one man aboard a train, another on the platform, then left the station and slashed two more men on bicycles outside, Bavarian police spokesman Karl-Heinz Segerer said on NTV news channel.

“In the meantime local police received an emergency call, and the officers quickly arrived at the scene and were able to detain the man,” Mr Segerer said.

Bloody footsteps and police forensic officers in white plastic suits could be seen at the cordoned-off railway station in video footage from Grafing, 30 kilometres east of the Bavarian capital.

“There is no longer any threat to the population,” another police spokeswoman, Michaela Gross, said.

Town mayor Angelika Obermayr expressed shock at the bloody crime in the sleepy town of 13,000 people.

“We are an absolutely peaceful Bavarian small town in the greater Munich region,” she said on NTV.

“Something like this is absolutely new and has deeply shocked the people here who only know things like that from television.

“That something like that happened here is absolutely unbelievable.”