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Flums Axe attack by teenager not terror act, say police

The petrol station where the attacker was finally immobilised


A 17-year-old axe-wielding Latvian who injured seven people in Flums, canton St Gallen, has been arrested. 

According to a statementexternal link by the St Gallen police, the teenager carried out the attacks near the town’s post office shortly after 8pm on Sunday. He attacked a couple in their thirties who were with their eight-month-old baby as well as two bystanders who tried to intervene. He then fled the scene using a stolen car before crashing it. 

The attacker then injured three women in a petrol station while trying to escape. He was finally apprehended by the police who shot and injured him. 

The man who was first attacked is seriously injured and the baby fell out of the pram during the fracas and is under observation in the hospital. The status of the mother has not been disclosed. 

First-time offender

“According to current information, the attacker is a first-time offender. At this point in time, there is nothing to suggest he has a terrorist background,” said the police statement.

The Latvian national has been living in Switzerland for the past four years and has family in the country. The motive behind the attack is not clear but the teenager is believed to suffer from mental problems. According to the cantonal prosecutor Stephan Ramseyer, others noticed he had violent fantasies during his tradesman apprenticeship. This was brought to the notice of the authorities in mid-September who decided he didn't present a serious risk to others. Certain measures - which were not revealed - were imposed on the teenager and were followed by him and his parents. 



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