German police say attacker fled supermarket in Barmbek district before being tackled by passersby and arrested
One person has been stabbed to death in a Hamburg supermarket and six people have been injured after being attacked by a man wielding a knife.
German police said the suspected attacker fled the shop in the Barmbek district of the north German city and headed towards a metro station, but was followed by witnesses who tackled him to the ground. The man was then arrested by plainclothes police officers. He was slightly injured.
The suspect was a 26-year-old born in the United Arab Emirates, police said, though they were still working to establish his nationality. Hamburg’s mayor said the man had apparently sought shelter in Germany and that authorities had been unable to deport him because he had no papers.
The person who was killed was described by police as a customer of the shop and believed to be a 50-year-old German man. One of the six victims injured in the attack is in a serious condition.
Timo Zill, a spokesman for Hamburg police, said: “What we know at this stage is that the person was male, that he was armed with a knife, and entered the supermarket, and sought out his victims and started stabbing them randomly. He’s injured but not seriously.”
Zill said he had no information as to the man’s motive. “First reports about a possible robbery cannot be confirmed so far,” he said.
Police said they were confident he had been acting alone. One witness described his weapon as a kitchen knife.
Two witnesses to the attack said the man shouted “Allahu Akbar” but police said they were unable to confirm the reports. They declined to say whether the attack was being treated as a terrorist incident.
Bild newspaper reported late on Friday that armed police forces had searched the migrant housing centre where the attacker had lived.
A police spokeswoman said the motive for the attack was still under investigation. She said she had no information that the attacker was known to authorities as an Islamist, as reported by the newspaper Tagesspiegel.
Police said a 50-year-old woman and four men aged between 19 and 64 were injured in the attack, all of whom were German. A 35-year-old Turkish man was injured while trying to stop the attacker, they said. Media reports said he injured his shoulder while throwing a metal rod.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010