Chainsaw attack suspect arrested in Switzerland

Update 9.09pm: The suspect in a chainsaw attack on a health insurer's office in Switzerland that left five people wounded has been caught after more than a day on the run, police said.

Franz Wrousis was arrested in Thalwil, some 45 kilometres (28 miles) from the scene of Monday morning's attack in Schaffhausen, police said.

The lakeside town is in Zurich canton (state), Schaffhausen's southern neighbour.

Police issued a brief statement announcing the arrest but said they would give no further details before a news conference scheduled in Schaffhausen on Wednesday.

Authorities had issued an international arrest warrant for Wrousis, whom they described as aggressive and psychologically unstable.

They said the 50-year-old has two previous convictions for weapons offences and no fixed residence.

Wrousis is accused of attacking two employees of a health insurance company at their office in Schaffhausen's old town.

One of them was seriously hurt, though the injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Authorities said Wrousis, a client of health insurer CSS, targeted the agency, although a motive remains unclear.

Two customers were treated for shock after they witnessed the attack, and another person was slightly injured during the subsequent police operation.

All but one of the five have left hospital.

In recent weeks, Wrousis was seen several times in forests just south of Schaffhausen.

Police found a minivan he was believed to have been driving shortly after the attack, and searched the region near the German border with helicopters and sniffer dogs.

On Tuesday, they urged people to exercise caution when in the area's forests as long as the suspect remained at large.

As the manhunt continued, the insurance company said it was keeping its offices in Schaffhausen and five other nearby towns closed for now "in view of yesterday's attack".

Police had described Wrousis as potentially dangerous and warned he might be armed.

They also published several photos of the suspect, one of them taken shortly before the attack.

It showed a tall, balding man with short brown hair walking along a street in a green jacket carrying a large black bag.

Earlier: A man suspected of wounding five people with a chainsaw is still on the loose as a manhunt continues on the Swiss-German border.

Franz Wrousis, 51, who was described by police as dangerous, aggressive and mentally unstable, is accused of attacking two employees of a health insurance company in their office in Schaffhausen's old town on Monday morning.

Two customers were treated for shock after they witnessed the attack, and another person was slightly injured during the subsequent police operation. Four of the five injured people have now left hospital.

One company employee, who was severely injured, is still in hospital, but not in a life-threatening condition.

Authorities said the suspect has previous convictions for weapons offences and has no fixed residence. In recent weeks he was seen in the forests near Schaffhausen.

This undated photo provided by the Schaffhauser Polizei shows the suspect in a chainsaw attack in Schaffhausen.

Police are searching the region with helicopters and sniffer dogs.

Officers warned that Wrousis may be armed and asked anyone who sees him to contact police immediately, and to keep away from him. They also put out an international arrest warrant.

Schaffhausen, a town of about 36,000 people north of Zurich, is near the Swiss-German border.

On Monday afternoon, police found a white Volkswagen minivan that the suspect was believed to be driving. They did not elaborate on its condition or say if anything else was found in it.

Police also published several photos of the man, the latest of which they said was taken shortly before his attack on the CSS insurance office.

Photos of the attacker.

It shows a tall, balding man with short brown hair walking along a street in a green jacket carrying a large black bag, which they said may have contained the chainsaw.


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