It is completely unclear why he attacked a seven-year-old girl and her 61-year-old supervisor in Esslingen with a knife. A 24-year-old man confessed to the crime. He is in custody.

After attacking a girl and a woman with a knife on the grounds of a primary school in Esslingen on Friday, he was on the run for hours. Later he apparently asked passers-by in nearby Stuttgart to report him to the police and allowed himself to be arrested without resistance. According to the police, the 24-year-old, a suspect, was taken into custody on Saturday. The two victims of the knife attack are in a hospital, but the injuries are not life-threatening.

The public prosecutor’s office in Stuttgart and the police in Reutlingen announced on Saturday that the 24-year-old was being investigated on suspicion of attempted homicide. “The Dutch national, who was born in Germany, has not yet appeared in the police force,” it said. The man confessed. According to their own statements, the police were able to secure the murder weapon, a kitchen knife, on Friday in downtown Esslingen.

Knife attack in Esslingen: motive unclear

The motive of the 24-year-old is so far in the dark. According to the police, a 13-strong investigation team at the Esslingen Criminal Police Office is to clarify the exact circumstances of the crime. So far there is no evidence that the man knew the two victims before the attack. According to initial findings, he is said to have initially attacked the seven-year-old girl. “Through the courageous intervention of the supervisor,” the attacker was then put to flight, according to the public prosecutor and the police. Both the child and the woman suffered serious cuts.

The police have already ruled out a political motive for the crime. So far, everything indicates that the girl was an accidental victim. According to the investigators, an expert should now clarify whether the alleged perpetrator has a mental illness.

Sources: Communication from the Stuttgart public prosecutor’s office/Reutlingen police; News agencies DPA and AFP