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Police: Trollhättan school attacker "wanted to die"

Published tisdag 8 mars 2016 kl 16.02
The final police report on the school killer
(2:37 min)
CCTV footage showing a black-clad person in a mask walking around the Kronan school in Trollhättan.
The 21-year-old Anton Lundin Pettersson killed three people in the attack. Credit: Polisens förundersökningsprotokoll/TT

The sword attack at a school in the west coast town of Trollhättan last year had been planned and the school carefully selected. The final police report confirms that the killer was motivated by hate and that he had prepared to die himself.

He got a haircut, chose clothes and music, took time off from his internship, used up all his money and wrote a letter to leave behind after he was gone. For two weeks, Anton Lundin Pettersson had planned the attack at the Kronan school in Trollhättan. Police found that he had been looking up the school online.

He carried out his attack in the morning on a Thursday in October, just before the school's autumn leave. Three people died, a 17-year-old student, a 20-year-old teaching assistant and a 42-year-old teacher died in the attack. A slightly younger student was injured.

The final police report, that was presented in Trollhättan on Tuesday, Anton Lundin Pettersson is described as a quiet young man who felt himself to be different from others. He was not under the influence of any drugs and was not suffering from any mental ill-health. But there were signs of depressive behaviour and he did consider suicide a few months before the attack.

He started an internship that he had hoped would lead to work, but with a few weeks to go, he was told this would not be possible. A few days after that he started planning the attack on the school. His internship would have ended a few days after the attack.

In the end, Anton Lundin Pettersson was shot dead by police when they were trying to stop him. According to the police investigation, he had counted on being shot during the attack, something that sometimes is known as "suicide by cop". The letter he left for his family confirms that, according to the police.

"In the letter it is pretty clear that he had no intention of coming home after this attack," the police press spokesperson Thomas Fuxborg said at a press conference on Tuesday.

As previously reported, the police investigators believe he acted completely on his own. They have not found and "structured" communication with others in terms of values or ideologies. He had watched and saved pictures and films on his computer expressing racism, nazism or islamophobia.

His attack is deemed as racially motivated and is categorised as a hate crime. When he walked around the school building with a sword and a big knife, he chose to attack several people who he judged to have immigrant background. But at the same time, he did not attack younger children, women or girls.

When police came to the school, they found Anton Lundin Pettersson in a corridor on the second floor of the building. They called out and he turned around and went for the attack. Police shot him with two bullets. One of them hit him. He died later in hospital.

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