Syrian suspect allegedly stabs wife and three others in Norway knife attack near school

Police arrested the man shortly after the incident after he was overpowered by civilians

Police cordon off the area in the aftermath of a stabbing in Numedal, Norway, 20 May 2022. EPA/Lise Aserud  NORWAY OUT
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

A Syrian man is suspected of stabbing his wife and three others in a series of attacks near a school in Norway on Friday.

One of the victims is in a critical condition, police have said.

Brave citizens overpowered the man and help him until officials arrived at the scene.

The incident happened close to a church and a secondary school in Nore, Numedal in south-east Norway, which is a town near Oslo.

The school confirmed on its website it was working with officials after reports youngsters witnessed the attacks.

"We confirm that it has been an incident at the school," Numedal upper secondary school said.

"The police have control over a perpetrator. Health personnel and police are at the school and take care of follow-up of the incident."

Police at first said the stabbings were random attacks, but later clarified that there was “a family relationship” between the assailant and at least one of the victims.

“This is a family from Syria, and the perpetrator and one of the injured are married,” police inspector Odd Skei Kostveit said in a statement.

Police said the suspect was a man who had received a restraining order in December following allegations of domestic violence.

The suspect, who also was injured, was held on suspicion of “grievous bodily harm,” police said.

Chief of Police Håvard Revå said the police were called shortly before 9am and a suspect was arrested 10 to 15 minutes later.

Three air ambulances were reported to be at the scene.

Police spokesman Tor Richard Jansen confirmed that civilians overpowered the alleged assailant and “handed him over to firefighters” who arrived before the police.

William Scott, who was in the area delivering goods, told the VG newspaper he saw an injured woman lying on the ground.

“At first I thought it was a collision because there was a large pool of blood on the ground," he said.

Mayor Jan Gaute Bjerke told local media that children were inside a primary school when it happened.

"The current situation is unclear, so I can not say anything more at the moment," he added.

News stations TV2 cited a witness saying bleeding victims came running from behind a convenience store.

“Such acts of violence are serious and despairing,” Norwegian Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl said in a statement.

Nore is close to Kongsberg, where five people were fatally stabbed and four wounded last October when Espen Andersen Bråthen attacked strangers with a bow and arrows and knives.

He has pleaded guilty in a trial that started this week.

He also faces 11 counts of attempted murder for the attack in Kongsberg, a former mining town of 26,000 people.

Updated: May 20, 2022, 12:27 PM