At least five people have been injured — four of them fatally — at a German facility caring for seriously disabled people. An employee from the clinic has been detained, with reports emerging a knife had been used in the attack.
Four bodies with “signs of significant external violence” were discovered in the wards of the Oberlin clinic in Potsdam, in the German state of Brandenburg, local police reported on Thursday. A fifth victim has been seriously wounded. They were aged between 31 and 56 years old, the Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten (PNN) reported.
A 51-year-old woman who worked at the clinic was detained, police said. The suspect reportedly told her husband that she had killed people on Wednesday night, and the man alerted police, local media reported citing sources in law enforcement. The Potsdam prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into a suspected “intentional homicide” case, while a possible motive is yet unclear. A knife was the murder weapon, Bild reported.
The victims included two men and two women, the German newspaper reported, adding that at least two of them were long-term residents and lived at the facility since childhood. The clinic is said to be a permanent home for people with serious physical disabilities. Those are “people who need our special protection. This makes the deed all the more frightening,” head of the local government Dietmar Woidke commented.
“Let me say for all of us that the terrible bloodshed last night…filled us with horror and a lot of sadness,” president of the Brandenburg state parliament Ulrike Liedtke said on Thursday.
The local community was even more shocked with the “incredible act,” as the Oberlin facility has been widely known for its long history of caring for seriously disabled people. “In its long tradition, Oberlin stands for self-sacrificing care by people for people. The deed of yesterday is all the more incomprehensible for all of us,” Potsdam Mayor Mike Schubert was quoted as saying by local media.
“The act shook us all deeply,” Brandenburg Interior Minister Michael Stubgen said in a statement. He expressed condolences not only to the victims’ families, but also to the hospital staff “who have to deal with the shock.” Around 80 people reportedly work at the facility taking care of 65 long-term residents.
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