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Woman dies after stabbing rampage in Germany's Hamm

June 12, 2022

German officials say the man who attacked several people at a university campus in Hamm-Lippstadt was showing signs of mental illness, including paranoia.

Several police vehicles parked outside the university building in Hamm-Lipstadt after the crime. June 10, 2022.
Police praised students who restrained the attacker before officers could arrive on the scene, saying their bravery prevented further casualtiesImage: Festim Beqiri/TV7NEWS/picture alliance

A 30-year-old adjunct lecturer died from her injuries after she and three students were attacked on campus in Germany's Hamm-Lippstadt earier in the week, officials said on Sunday.

The Friday rampage saw a 34-year-old man apparently enter a university hall and injure two female and one male student in the corridors. He then went inside a lecture hall and stabbed the adjunct lecturer in the chest multiple times, before being overpowered by students.

The woman was transported to the nearby hospital via a helicopter and underwent emergency surgery. However, doctors were unable to save her life.

Dortmund police chief Ralf Ziegler praised the students for detaining the attacker, saying they acted "very, very bravely."

Overpowering the attacker had "definitely saved countless more victims," he said.

Suspect believed he was being followed

Police said they had found no indication that the spree was politically motivated. The attacker has a history of mental illness, including paranoid delusions, according to German prosecutors. Authorities said he was a student living in a dormitory. He was checked into a mental hospital days earlier due to a suicide attempt, but then checked himself out on Friday, before purchasing two knives that he used in the attack.

Prosecutor Henner Kruse said the attacker believed his victims were a part of a group that was threatening his life. In April, the suspect called the police because he believed he was being followed.

The ongoing investigation has found no links between the attacker and his four victims. The man is now back in psychiatric treatment.

The injuries sustained by the three students, all of them 22 years old, are no longer seen as life-threatening.

The Hamm rampage came just days after a different man apparently drove a car into a group of schoolchildren in Berlin, killing a teacher and leaving dozens injured.

If you are suffering from serious emotional strain or suicidal thoughts, do not hesitate to seek professional help. You can find information on where to find such help, no matter where you live in the world, at this website:  https://www.befrienders.org/

dj/msh (dpa, AFP, epd)