A teenage boy in Bischofswerda, a city located east of Dresden in Germany, attacked an 8-year-old schoolmate with a knife before attempting to set himself on fire, according to local law enforcement. The incident occurred on Wednesday, with the young victim being airlifted to a hospital for treatment of head and neck injuries. The regional education ministry has reported that the boy is in stable condition.
The initial report from the police mistakenly identified the victim as a girl, but this was later corrected. The school was promptly evacuated after the police were notified of the incident around 9:45 a.m. local time.
The 16-year-old perpetrator, also a student at the school, reportedly set himself on fire following the knife attack. However, the flames were quickly extinguished, and he was subsequently arrested and hospitalized as reported by German media.
The incident took place at a primary school in Bischofswerda, with officers responding to the scene on Wednesday morning. The 8-year-old victim was transported to a hospital for treatment of his injuries, which included wounds to his back and neck. His condition has been described as stable.
The motive behind the attack remains unclear. However, local Görlitz police have dismissed online rumors suggesting that the boy had a migration background.
During a search of the school building, police discovered various items including knives, bottles, and lighters, which have been secured for forensic examination. An unidentified liquid was also found on all four floors of the school.
The school remained closed on Wednesday afternoon and classes have been cancelled for Thursday as investigators continue to work at the scene.
Saxony’s Minister of Education, Christian Piwarz, expressed his sympathy for the victim, his family, and the school, pledging support for the students and educators. Bischofswerda’s Mayor, Holm Große, also expressed his shock and deep concern over the incident.