Two stabbed to death at Ikea store in Sweden, two arrested

Police cars parked outside IKEA store in the city of Vaesteraas, about 100 km west of Stockholm on Monday. Two people were stabbed to death at the Ikea store in Vasteras and a third person was wounded, police said.
Police cars parked outside IKEA store in the city of Vaesteraas, about 100 km west of Stockholm on Monday. Two people were stabbed to death at the Ikea store in Vasteras and a third person was wounded, police said. PHOTO: AFP

VÄSTERÅS, Sweden (AFP) - Two shoppers were stabbed to death at an Ikea store in the central Swedish town of Vasteras on Monday, police said, adding that two suspects had been arrested.

A person who was originally thought to be a third, seriously injured victim turned out to be one of the two suspects, said Vasteras police chief Per Agren.

"Two men have been arrested... One is born in 1992 and the other is the third injured person, born in 1979," Agren told reporters.

A man and a woman died of the knife injuries sustained in the attack.

Police said they had no details about the motive for the attack, which took place in the store's kitchenware section.

"This is a crazy incident that has happened. We don't know the reason for it," Agren said.

"We see no connection between the attackers and the victims," he added.

There was no indication the incident was terrorism-related. Swedish intelligence agency Sapo said it had not been called in on the case.

The injured suspect was apprehended in the store and underwent surgery at a local hospital for stab wounds, Agren said.

"We don't have any information on how he sustained those wounds."

Police were still searching the furniture store for weapons on Monday evening, more than six hours after the attack, but said they believed they had recovered the weapons used, without providing any details.

The two suspects were not known to police and did not have criminal records, Agren said.

Police were called to the scene early Monday afternoon.

"Police received a call about wounded people at Ikea... around 1:00 pm (1100 GMT). A man and a woman with stab wounds were found at the scene, they later died of their injuries. Another person was seriously injured," Agren said.

A shaky video clip filmed by a passerby that was published on the website of regional daily VLT showed police arresting one of the suspects at a bus stop outside Ikea.

"I saw police come running toward a man standing and waiting at the bus stop. The arrest happened really fast, the man didn't put up a fight but he was loud. He was maybe 30 or 40 years old," Fredrik Pikkuaho, who filmed the clip, told VLT.

Police can be see pushing the man to the ground but the suspect's face cannot be seen clearly.

Agren described the arrest as "undramatic".

Officers gave no information about the identities of the dead as they were in the process of informing their next of kin.

VLT quoted store manager Mattias Johansson as saying the attack took place in the store's kitchenware department and that the victims were "ordinary shoppers".

Ikea evacuated and closed the store on Monday, and it was not immediately known when it would reopen.

Ikea Group spokeswoman Martina Smedberg said "there was no threat against the store".

"We have no idea what the motive is," she added.

She said she was unaware of "any other incidents of this nature" at Ikea stores, calling it "extremely unusual and serious."

Vasteras, an industrial town with 110,000 inhabitants located about 100 kilometres from Stockholm, is Sweden's fifth-biggest city.

Police boosted security at other retailers in the area after the attack to reassure shoppers, Agren said.