One suspect denies Sweden Ikea attack
(AFP) One of two suspects in the knife attack at an Ikea store in Sweden that left two dead is an asylum seeker who has denied any involvement, while the other is in critical condition, officials said Tuesday.
The two shoppers killed in the midday attack on Monday in the central Swedish town of Vasteras were a 55-year-old woman and her 28-year-old son, police said.
Court documents obtained by AFP showed that one of the suspects, aged 23 and now in police custody, was an asylum seeker living at an asylum centre in the nearby town of Arboga. His nationality was not provided.
The other suspect, born in 1979, remained in hospital in critical condition a day after undergoing surgery for stab wounds and he has not yet been interrogated by police, healthcare officials said.
There were no court documents for him, but the Aftonbladet newspaper reported that both suspects lived at the same asylum centre.
"When I came back from a walk the police had been in our room and searched it," an unnamed man identified as a roommate to one of the suspects told Aftonbladet.
Police remained tightlipped about the investigation early Tuesday but were set to hold a press conference around midday.
"We can confirm that the dead are a 55-year-old woman and her 28-year-old son," police spokeswoman Victoria Holmgren told AFP.
She refused to disclose further information about the attackers or their victims' identities, but media reports said the victims were from northern Sweden and were visiting relatives in Vasteras.
"They went to Ikea to go shopping. At the kitchenware section something happened and they were attacked with a knife," the local VLT newspaper reported.
Police on Monday described the attack as a "crazy incident" and did not know the motive. There were no indications it was terror-related and Swedish intelligence agency Sapo said it had not been called in on the case.
The two suspects were arrested on Monday shortly after the attack. The 23-year-old was wrestled to the ground by police at a bus stop outside Ikea, while the other was found with stab wounds inside the store.
It was not yet known how he sustained his injuries, police said, and investigators have not yet explained the suspects' relation to each other.
The suspect in critical condition was in the intensive care unit on Tuesday.
"He was stable overnight but he is still in critical condition," Eva Lindahl, a spokeswoman for the regional healthcare authority, told AFP.
The other suspect arrested at the bus stop was questioned on Monday and "denies any involvement" in the attack, the deputy prosecutor in charge of the case, Eva Moren, told the daily Expressen.
According to police sources quoted by VLT, "the suspects appear to have used knives from Ikea's shelves".
The store was evacuated after the attack and remained closed Tuesday until further notice.
Monday's attack was in some ways reminiscent of the fatal 2003 stabbing of Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh.
Mijailo Mijailovic, a then 24-year-old Serbian Swede with a history of psychiatric problems, stabbed Lindh, 46, repeatedly as she shopped at Stockholm's posh NK department store without a bodyguard.
She died hours later of massive internal bleeding.