BERLIN (AP) — A 33-year-old man suspected of killing two teenagers and injuring seven other passengers on a train in northern Germany was released from pretrial detention a week ago and had previous criminal convictions, German news outlets reported Thursday.
The man, who was identified as a stateless Palestinian who came to Germany in 2014, allegedly stabbed multiple people Wednesday afternoon on a regional train traveling from Kiel to Hamburg. A A 16-year-old girl and a 19-year-old man died of their wounds, authorities said.
Other passengers overwhelmed the suspect, who was treated at a hospital for slight injuries and is in police custody, German news agency dpa reported.
German newspapers Bild and Welt reported that his criminal record included convictions for sexual assault, dangerous bodily harm, abuse of credit cards and shoplifting.
Police and prosecutors were investigating possible motives for the attack, which happened as the train approached the town of Brokstedt.
Sabine Suetterlin-Waack, the interior minister of Schleswig-Holstein state, where Brokstedt is located, said the parents of the two teenage victims had been informed of their deaths.
She said investigators were working under high pressure to “gather all the facts.”
The state parliament began its session Thursday with a minute of silence for the victims of the attack.