COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A 36-year-old Eritrean man has confessed to the deadly stabbing of two people at an Ikea store in central Sweden, his defense lawyer said Thursday.
Per-Ingvar Ekblad said the suspect accepted a court's decision to hold him in custody for two weeks over the stabbing of a woman and her adult son on Monday in Vasteras, west of Stockholm.
The motive was unclear but Sweden's Migration Agency said it met with the man to discuss his case hours before the attack, adding his deportation was imminent after his application for a residency permit had been rejected.
Police said they had not found any connection between the suspect and the victims.
The man is recovering from surgery for unspecified severe injuries at a hospital in Vasteras, 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Stockholm. He woke up Thursday and was questioned by police. Due to his condition, he was not able to attend the custody hearing but participated via a telephone link.
The Aftonbladet newspaper claimed video surveillance from inside the Ikea store show the man stabbing himself in the stomach after attacking the victims. Police have declined to comment on the report.
At the same hearing Thursday, a 23-year-old Eritrean man who had been suspected of helping the older man was released for lack of evidence.
His lawyer, Maria Wilhelmsson, said the men knew each other from the asylum center where they both lived and accidentally ran into each other outside the Ikea store, where the older man asked him to come along with him. While the accused suspect was detained in the store, the younger man was held at a bus stop outside shortly after the attack.
Neither suspects nor victims have been identified.