Europe

Chainsaw attack: 5 injured in Swiss town; manhunt on for suspect

A manhunt was under way on Monday for a chainsaw-wielding attacker who wounded five people -- one seriously -- at a health insurer's office building in Switzerland.

The attacker entered the building in Schaffhausen, 23 miles north of Zurich, about 10:40 a.m. local time, wounding several employees. Police initially said two people had been seriously injured but later corrected the statement.

A shop owner in the area told local news site Blick a man with a chainsaw was walking through the streets terrorizing shoppers. The attacker fled the scene by the time police arrived, but officials identified the suspect as Franz Wrousis, 51, who has two previous convictions for weapon offenses.

Police released photos of Wrousis and described him as a bald man with an unkempt appearance. Wrousis previously registered himself as living in Graubuenden in southern Switzerland. 

On Monday afternoon, police discovered the Volkswagen they believed Wrousis was driving. It wasn't immediately clear if investigators found significant evidence in the vehicle. 

Police said the attack "is not a terrorist act," but warned residents to avoid the suburban town as they searched for Wrousis. 

"This was first and foremost a crime against this insurance agency," senior regional police official Ravi Landolt told reporters, though there was no exact word on the suspect's motive.

"We have information that this man is dangerous, that he is aggressive and, shall we say, psychologically disturbed," Landolt added.

Therese Karrer, who often walks her dog in woods south of Schaffhausen, said she saw Wrousis several times in the last few weeks.

"I talked to him a few times and walked by his car every day with our dog," said Karrer, who lives in the village of Uhwiesen.

Karrer said Wrousis showed up three or four weeks ago in the forest and chatted with her once when he was having breakfast behind his car.

"He may have been a little strange, but he wasn't unfriendly," she said. "I never felt threatened."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.