Chainsaw attacker injures five in Swiss town

Wednesday, 26 Jul, 2017

Swiss police have issued an global arrest warrant for the 51-year-old man suspected of going on a chainsaw rampage Monday in the town of Schaffhausen.

Swiss police say several people have been hospitalized, two of them with serious injuries, following the apparent attack in the northern city of Schaffhausen.

Hours later, authorities identified Franz Wrousis, a 51-year-old with previous convictions for weapons offences, as the prime suspect.

Another three people were slightly injured in the attack, police said, but there was no information on them.

The attack took place at the Schaffhausen office of insurance company CSS.

Three other people suffered various injuries amid the fracas but none of the victims are now in critical condition, public broadcaster RTS reported.

Wrousis has been charged twice in the past for having illegal weapons, in 2014 and 2016, but he wasn't sentenced to prison, Schaffhausen public prosecutor Peter Sticher said Monday.

He didn't elaborate or say where they were committed, but said Wrousis has no previous record in the small northern canton (state) of Schaffhausen, near the German border.

Schaffhausen police released a photo of him taken before the incident on CCTV cameras.

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He is believed to be bald, around 190cm tall, with an unkempt appearance, detectives said, and thought to have been living in a wooded area close to the town.

Police said Mr Wrousis had been a customer of the firm.

Armed police stand guard at the scene of the attack in central Schaffhausen.

Franz Wrousis, the alleged attacker. In recent weeks he was seen a lot in forests near Schaffhausen. Police do not believe the attack was sparked by a terror motive.

Karrer described him as an odd character who "told my dog he had a great haircut".

Karrer said Wrousis showed up three or four weeks ago in the forest and chatted with her once when he was having breakfast behind his vehicle.

A picture taken just before the attack shows him wearing a green jacket and black pants and carrying a black bag thought to contain the chainsaw.

"He may have been a little odd, but he wasn't unfriendly", she said.