Crime: Knife attack on children - police arrest 21-year-old

The horror is written on the faces of many neighbors.

Crime: Knife attack on children - police arrest 21-year-old

The horror is written on the faces of many neighbors. On the way home from school, two children in Duisburg were attacked and seriously injured by a 21-year-old. The police were on a large scale. The suspect was arrested a short time later near the crime scene without resistance, investigators said. The background to the crime initially remained completely open.

According to dpa information, the police seized a knife and a flashlight as murder weapons. The suspect hit and stabbed the children with both objects, police sources said. Investigators are treating the attack as attempted murder. The 21-year-old suspect will be brought before a judge on charges of attempted murder, the police and public prosecutor's office said.

The crime occurred around 12 p.m. in the middle of a street in a residential area in the Marxloh district of Duisburg. The two children - a boy and a girl - could have escaped to a Catholic elementary school two blocks away after the attack. A teacher came to help them there, the police reported. The two children are nine and ten years old.

Children are in the clinic

Both were then taken to the hospital. At least for one of the two children, the doctors cautiously gave the all-clear: There was no danger to life. According to the police, there was initially no more precise information about the second child's health.

According to investigators, the person arrested is a German-Bulgarian. He acted as a lone perpetrator. There was initially no reliable information about the age of the victims; they fluctuated between 9 and 14 years, said a police spokeswoman. The public prosecutor's office in Duisburg said it would not comment on the case until Thursday.

Forensics began working at the crime scene a few hours after the attack. Officers in white protective suits examined the street and the surrounding area, as a dpa reporter reported. A police drone was also used during the forensic investigation. Numerous traces of blood could be seen on the sidewalk. The area was largely cordoned off by the police. There are very simple houses on the street, many of the facades are dirty and covered in graffiti.

School psychologists on duty

A few concerned parents gathered at the school where the two injured children had escaped. In an initial reaction, NRW Schools Minister Dorothee Feller (CDU) was “shocked” that “two children had become victims of an act of violence on their way to school.” In the coming days, the school will be closely monitored by school psychologists.

“My thoughts are with the two children, their parents, families and friends as well as the teachers at the school,” said Feller. The affected primary school will now receive all the support it needs.

The district government responsible for the school emphasized that the school psychology department was consulting with the school management on how to proceed - for example, what discussion and support offers and information were available for parents.