Sweden school attack: Teacher and student dead.

Masked Attacker Kills Two, Injures More at School in Sweden

Masked Attacker Kills Two, Injures More at School in Sweden

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The Slatest
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Oct. 22 2015 11:33 AM

Masked Attacker Kills Two, Injures More in Sweden

Trollhattan
Police officers stand guard at a cordoned area after a masked man attacked people at a school in Trollhattan, Sweden on October 22, 2015.

Photo by Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT News Agency via Reuters

A masked attacker stabbed several people at a school in Sweden on Thursday, killing two and seriously injuring two more.

Students initially thought the attacker, who was wearing a “Darth Vader-like mask” and carrying at least one large knife and possibly a sword, was wearing some kind of Halloween costume, the Associated Press reports. "When we first saw him we thought it was a joke,” a student told Swedish broadcaster Sveriges Television. “He wore a mask and black clothes. There were students asking to take pictures with him and touch the sword.”

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The incident turned deadly when the attacker brutally slashed two male teachers and two male students several times, before being shot himself by police. Hundreds of students began fleeing the school. One of the teachers was found dead at the scene, and one of the students died at the hospital. It isn’t clear what condition the other two victims are in, but a doctor at the hospital told the AP that “they hover between life and death."

The attack took place just after 10 a.m. at Kronan School in the western town of Trollhattan. “The attacker was shot by police and has died of his injuries,” the BBC reports.

Rachel E. Gross is the science web editor at Smithsonian.