German authorities transferred the suspect in the widely publicized Frankfurt murder to a psychiatric hospital after discovering he was mentally ill, prosecutors said on Thursday.
Police had arrested the man on suspicion of pushing an 8-year-old child in front of a moving train last month. He also allegedly pushed the boy’s mother onto the track and tried to push another woman off the platform at Frankfurt’s central railway station, but the adults both survived the attack.
On Thursday, authorities said the suspect was suffering from “an illness on the schizophrenia spectrum.” The 40-year-old is most likely a paranoid schizophrenic, they added.
The case sparked an embittered debate on migration in Germany, as the suspect is an Eritrean-born Swiss resident.
Investigators at the scene of the Frankfurt murder
‘Danger to the public’
Swiss police said the man trapped his wife and three young children in their Zurich apartment before leaving the country. He had also threatened one of his neighbors with a knife and locked the woman up as well.
His symptoms were acute at the time of the Frankfurt attack, German authorities said on Thursday. They assume the suspect had “at least substantially reduced capabilities of understanding and self-control.”
They also described the man as a “danger to the public” and said it was likely he would attempt further illegal acts if released. The Eritrean still faces a charge of murder and two accounts of attempted murder in Germany.
The man had been undergoing psychiatric treatment in Switzerland. However, despite his acts of violence, German police said that he had not been listed as wanted in international databases and was able to travel freely.
dj/msh (AFP, epd, dpa)