German police say axe attacker who injured nine was ‘disturbed’

‘Psychologically disturbed’ man from former Yugoslavia injured nine in Düsseldorf station

German police say an axe-wielding man who injured nine in Düsseldorf central station was a psychologically disturbed man originally from the former Yugoslavia.

The 36-year-old injured two people on a local train on Thursday evening before jumping onto the platform at the station.

There he attacked further passengers with the axe before racing across the tracks and leaping several metres from a bridge and injuring himself, upon which police arrested him.

The perpetrator was treated in a local hospital with several broken bones. His victims, including a 13-year-old girl, were treated and one person was still in a critical condition.


A police spokesman in Düsseldorf said the lone perpetrator of the attack lived in the city of Wuppertal, had been in an "extreme psychological situation" and that "at no time" were there indications of an extremist or Islamist motive.

Nerves in Germany have been on edge since last July when, in a similar attack, five people were injured in a train in northern Bavaria by a 17-year-old asylum seeker who claimed to have links to so-called Islamic State.

Düsseldorf’s busy central station was sealed off and traffic halted after the first emergency call at 8.50pm on Thursday evening.

Heavily-armed special forces moved in to evacuate the complex and helicopters circled over head.

The station was re-opened after midnight and Germany’s train operator said connections were operating as normal.

Derek Scally

Derek Scally

Derek Scally is an Irish Times journalist based in Berlin