The Trollhattan Killer: All You Need To Know
Some of my international friends have been asking about the school massacre in Sweden that took place yesterday. Here’s the gist of what happened and who did it.
There has been a lot of talk in the international press about the massacre in Trollhättan, Sweden. For those of you who aren’t in the loop, a 21-year-old man walked into a comprehensive school in Kronogården, an immigrant-dense neighborhood in Trollhättan. He was wearing a costume described by some as Nazi-esque and by others as a bad Darth Vader costume, and armed with at least two sword-like weapons.
Before the attack, three students approached the young man thinking he was wearing a Halloween costume and asked if they could take a picture with him. He didn’t say anything, but nodded:
After the picture was taken, the 21-year-old let the students touch the sword. That’s when the cameraman—a 15-year-old boy who was interviewed by Dagens Nyheter, one of Sweden’s biggest newspapers, under the pseudonym “Rafik”—noticed that the sword was real, and reportedly started shouting for everyone to run away.
One of his friends didn’t escape, and was wounded.
At the same time, Rafik says, a teacher’s assistant came running towards the scene to see what was going on. According to sources, he tried to overpower the attacker as he alerted all nearby students to run away. The teacher’s assistant, a 20-year-old by the name of Lavin Eskandar, was fatally wounded and died before police arrived. He has been declared a hero by many students at the school, and probably saved many lives.
The attacker then proceeded to look for more potential victims. He walked through the school and attacked anyone that came in his way. He ended up wounding several people, among them a 41-year-old teacher and a 15-year-old refugee from Syria. Two victims have died so far: the teacher’s assistant and a 17-year-old boy by the name of Ahmed Hassan.
According to police, the attacker was playing “Halloween-like” music as he was walking through the corridors.
When police arrived, he tried to attack them as well. Two shots were fired, one of which pierced his liver. The attacker passed away hours later in the hospital.
What We Know About The Killer:
The killer’s name was Anton Lundin-Pettersson. He graduated from a vocational high school in Trollhättan, and according to TV reports he received good grades in several subjects. One person who apparently knew him told a reporter that he was “a nice guy.”
His Facebook profile, which can be found here, appears to have been created on October 11, not even two weeks before the mass stabbing took place. This could suggest that he had been planning the attack for a while, and wanted people to find his profile after it had been carried out.
When the identity of the killer first came to light he had 25 Facebook friends. He now has 10, most of which are thought to be close relatives.
The killer was a fan of metal and hard rock—particularly Marilyn Manson, Rammstein, Korn, and Ghost. The day before carrying out the attack, Lundin-Pettersson posted a link to “Dragula,” a song by heavy metal “singer” Rob Zombie. The lyrics are available here, and they’re just as disturbing as you’d imagine.
His YouTube account, which dates back several years, gives us a more complete—but at the same time very confusing—account of what type of person the killer was.
Swedish anti-racist organization “Expo,” which in many ways is similar to the American SPLC, reported that the killer had “far right” sympathies. While this seems to be true to some extent, it definitely doesn’t tell the whole story.
Granted, I’ve only looked through over two years worth of ‘liked’ videos on his YouTube feed, but Lundin-Pettersson appears to have been a big fan of such people as The Amazing Atheist, George Carlin, and Christopher Hitchens. He also loved prank call videos, Charles Manson, South Park, and gaming clips. Expo appears to be correct in that the killer indeed was not a fan of Swedish immigration policy. There is some evidence to suggest he had neo-Nazi sympathies, though much of it is circumstantial. If one were to speculate, Lundin-Pettersson probably wasn’t sure about his political beliefs himself. In his feed are videos making fun of Jimmie Åkesson, the leader of Sweden’s biggest anti-immigration party, and videos praising him. There are also videos making fun of religion and religious people—especially Christians and Muslims.
There is some evidence to suggest he was a liberal (he ‘liked’ videos that were supportive of legalization of cannabis and prostitution, and videos criticizing income inequality and conservatives such as Steven Crowder and Bobby Jindal), and some evidence to suggest he was a neo-Nazi (his interest in Nazi Germany, some of the music he listened to, as well as some of the anti-immigration videos he liked).
Additionally, he also ‘liked’ several videos about social anxiety and people such as Elliot Rodger and the Columbine shooters. Not videos portraying them in a positive light, mind you, but clips by the father of one of the victims of the Columbine shooting, and clips talking about the mental health of Elliot Rodger.
My heart goes out to the friends and families of the victims—especially Lavin Eskandar and Ahmad Hassan, who both lost their lives today.