Accused killer brought extra weapons to daycare
The man accused of a brutal attack on a Belgian daycare carried a backpack full of weapons in addition to the knife he allegedly used to slay two infants and one adult, a local prosecutor said Saturday.
Prosecutor Christian Du Four said the 20-year-old male suspect had an axe and a fake gun that he carried in his backpack, along with a bulletproof vest he wore under his clothes.
The suspect has since been charged with three counts of murder by the prosecutor's office in Dendermonde, the town in the Belgian province of East Flanders where the attack occurred.
The Associated Press reported Saturday that three judicial officials had said the suspect also had the addresses of three other nurseries with him when he went on his rampage. But Du Four would not comment on whether the suspect had any plans to undertake any additional attacks.
Many Belgians gathered outside the daycare Saturday, leaving teddy bears and flowers, still trying to grasp what had happened the day before.
"What happened yesterday is really incredible, for all of us," said Maria Lorero.
"For all the parents, for the neighbours, feel very much with these people."
Serge De Plecker said he couldn't believe that the attack had happened in such a peaceful place.
"We thought that things like this only happened in the United States and now we see that in Belgium, in a small village like this ... that such a thing could happen, it is very, very bad," he said.
The motivation for the suspect's disturbing attack has still not been made clear.
Du Four previously said the man was not under the influence of drugs, nor was he drunk at the time that he entered the daycare. There is also no evidence that the suspect was in psychiatric care.
Police say the suspect walked into Dendermonde's Fabeltjesland daycare about 10 a.m. on Friday.
In addition to the weapons in his backpack, he brought a 20-centimetre blade and wore white paint on his face with black patches around the eyes. According to Belgian newspapers, he looked somewhat like the deranged Joker character played by the late Heath Ledger in the latest Batman movie.
The suspect then started slashing the children, prompting at least one daycare worker to try to stop the attack, but he couldn't be stopped.
By the time his rampage was over, a 54-year-old daycare worker, as well as a nine-month-old girl and six-month-old boy were dead. Twelve others were seriously injured -- all of whom underwent surgery for their injuries by the end of the evening.
Their alleged killer fled the scene and was later arrested at a local supermarket.
He is expected to appear in court on Tuesday. Police say he is still being questioned about the attacks and that they have searched his house and confiscated his computer.
On Sunday, a vigil is planned outside the daycare that is expected to draw hundreds of mourners.
With files from The Associated Press