A 20-year-old Belgian man has been charged with killing two infants and a female employee at a child day care center and is in custody, prosecutors said Saturday, Jan 24.
Parents comfort each other after the stabbing incident
A magistrate in the Belgian town of Dendermonde issued a warrant late Friday against the 20-year-old suspect in the bloody knife attack, reports said Saturday.
A spokesman for the public prosecutor's office said the man was being held for a triple murder and multiple counts of attempted murder.
Prosecutor Christian Du Four said the 20-year-old attacker rode his bike up to the Fabeltjesland day care center about 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 23, found it unlocked and went in.
Police officers patrolled the scene on Friday, Jan 23
Wearing black-and-white makeup, the man went directly to a room for babies and began stabbing wildly. Du Four told a news conference, "he entered he started slashing at everyone he ran into."
He then went to other rooms and repeated the attacks. Most of the children at the center were three years old or younger.
The attacker escaped on his bicycle, but was captured an hour-and-a-half later by authorities using helicopters and sniffer dogs. Police discovered a bloody knife in a sack in his possession.
Two children under the age of two and a 54-year-old carer were killed. Twelve others, mostly children, sustained serious injuries.
Rescue workers were met with a grisly scene
Panicked and sobbing parents rushed to the scene and to nearby hospitals. Shocked rescue workers spoke of finding crying, bleeding toddlers scattered inside the center. Medical workers at six hospitals sprang into action Friday, performing emergency operations to save the 10 children and two adults wounded in the attack.
The head of the hospital in Aalst, where the children were being treated, spoke of serious injuries. Plastic surgeons were assisting.
Dendermonde is situated around 30 kilometers northwest of Brussels.