According to the Siegerland Kurier, the perpetrator was a 21-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan.
The motive of the offender is still “completely unclear” the investigators said. The victims are two asylum seekers, respectively 19 and 20 years old, both from Syria, as well as a 52-year-old German, as police and prosecutors announced on Friday.
The perpetrator could be arrested quickly thanks to the city’s Mayor. He was the one who stopped the Afghan brandishing the knife.
“I happened to be nearby,” the 46-year-old told the German press agency. Because witnesses had run to him “completely hysterical”, he went to the crime scene at Marien Square.
“Then suddenly the culprit stood in front of me with the blood-covered knife and threatened me. I then said: He should lay the knife on the ground.” The Afghan did what he was told to do. “It was such an instinctive act,” says Mayor Daniel Rapp.
A little later, the police arrived, and arrested the man. An official had dropped a walkie talkie, recalls Rapp. “I took it, called and said: ‘We need reinforcement, we need more people’.”
And the reinforcement came: According to the Ravensburg police, in the end all available officers were at the scene where large pools of blood were visible. The three injured people were taken to the hospital.
The German daily, the SZ spoke to witnesses who described a man wildly swinging a knife and pointing at a clock. Pedestrians fled into shops.
A father of a family had tried to stop the suspect with a chair and was stabbed in the back and the arm. He was brought to the hospital.
But the alleged perpetrator was taken to a psychiatric facility and not a police cell. Instead of an arrest warrant, a so-called housing warrant was issued. The police said on Saturday that the Afghan asylum seeker suffers from “a deep psychiatric illness”.
He had been in inpatient therapy several times. The circumstances leading up to the stabbing was allegedly a quarrel with a work colleague.
Attorney Karl-Josef Diehl said the Afghan had felt teased because of comments from his colleagues. In the morning, the 21-year-old then bought a large kitchen knife and went to Marienplatz. When his colleague did not come, the man “suddenly and as part of a psychotic experience” stabbed two Syrian asylum seekers.
Then he attacked a third man who was not injured. A little later, a 52-year-old faced the accused outside in a restaurant. The suspect also inflicted stab wounds on this man. According to Diehl, the 21-year-old, who has been in Germany since 2016, has so far not shown any aggression against others.
Rapp’s actions may have saved human lives, said Baden-Württemberg Minister of Integration Manne Lucha, a member of the Greens. He called on the citizens to stand together. “People are now abusing this terrible act for political purposes and pouring out hatred and malice on all those who stand and stand for cohesion in this city.”
Lucha said nothing about the victims of the stabbing.