Five hurt in chainsaw attack in Switzerland

A man armed with a chainsaw stormed into an insurance office in a small Swiss town on Monday, wounding two members of staff and three other people before fleeing.
Forensic officers at the crime site in Schaffhausen yesterday. Police said the assault was "not an act of terror", but also not random. A photograph from the Schaffhausen police website showing Franz Wrousis, the suspect in the chainsaw attack.
Forensic officers at the crime site in Schaffhausen yesterday. Police said the assault was "not an act of terror", but also not random. PHOTO: REUTERS
Forensic officers at the crime site in Schaffhausen yesterday. Police said the assault was "not an act of terror", but also not random. A photograph from the Schaffhausen police website showing Franz Wrousis, the suspect in the chainsaw attack.
A photograph from the Schaffhausen police website showing Franz Wrousis, the suspect in the chainsaw attack.

SCHAFFHAUSEN (Switzerland) • A chainsaw-wielding loner who mostly lived in the woods stormed into an insurance office in a Swiss town yesterday, wounding two staff members and three other people before fleeing, police said.

Police put the centre of Schaffhausen into lockdown and launched a manhunt for the suspect they identified as 51-year-old Franz Wrousis. They said the assault was "not an act of terror", but also not random.

"This is not an attack against a hypothetical person. This is clearly against people from the insurer," Major Ravi Landolt told a news conference, adding that the exact motive was still under investigation.

The Swiss authorities distributed pictures of the suspect, whom Chief Prosecutor Peter Sticher described as "aggressive, dangerous and mentally conspicuous".

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They warned residents to avoid contact with the man, who they said had twice been convicted of weapons offences and was believed to be living in the wild since moving out of a home in the eastern Swiss canton of Grisons.

Two of the victims were seriously injured but their lives were not in danger.

Swiss health insurer CSS said two of its employees were injured when the man charged into its office in the centre of Schaffhausen, a mediaeval town of 36,000 people. It was not known if the three others injured were customers or passers-by.

Police recovered a vehicle sought in connection with the incident.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2017, with the headline 'Five hurt in chainsaw attack in Switzerland'. Print Edition | Subscribe