Man Injures 8 With Ax in Sweden Before Being Shot, Arrested

STOCKHOLM (AP) -
Police at the crime scene in Vetlanda, Sweden, Wednesday. (Mikael Fritzon/TT News Agency via AP)

A man armed with an ax attacked and injured eight people in a southern Sweden town Wednesday afternoon before being shot and arrested, police said.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said a possible terrorist motive was being investigated.

“In the light of what has emerged so far in the police investigation, prosecutors have initiated a preliminary investigation into terrorist crimes,” he said.

Shortly after his statement, investigators at a police press conference said they had started a preliminary investigation into attempted murder with details “that make us investigate any terrorist motives.”

“But at the moment I cannot go into details,” regional police chief Malena Grann said.

Police said the man in his 20s attacked people in the small town of Vetlanda, about 118 miles southeast of Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city.

The man was shot by police, who said the condition of the victims and perpetrator were not immediately known. Officials did not provide details on the identity of the suspect.

Local police chief Jonas Lindell said “it seems that the injuries are not life-threatening” but could not give further details.

Police also said that there are five crime scenes in this town of roughly 13,000.

Lofven condemned “this terrible act,” and added that Sweden’s domestic security agency SAPO was also working on the case.

”They continuously assess whether there are reasons to take security-enhancing measures and are prepared to do so if necessary,” he said in a statement.