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Samurai sword killer flees hospital

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Samurai sword killer flees hospital
The church where the rampage occurred. Photo: DPA
16:18 CET+01:00
Police are searching for a psychiatric patient who killed a woman in a church with a samurai sword and has subsequently run away during an excursion from a Baden-Württemberg hospital, media reported Wednesday.

Ranjithakumar Vallipuram, now 30, killed one woman and seriously injured three other worshippers in 2005 during a rampage with a samurai sword and a knife at the Christ Church Zuffenhausen, on the northern outskirts of Stuttgart. The victims were members of the local Tamil community.

Vallipuram, a Tamil from Sri Lanka, has fled from a psychiatric hospital in Bad Schussenried to which he was committed by a Stuttgart court that found he could not be tried because he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

He left on an unaccompanied outing on Saturday morning and did not return, daily Stuttgarter Zeitung reported.

“That is not good news,” a member of the Tamil community told the paper.

The hospital's medical director, Heiner Missenhardt, said Vallipuram did not pose an acute danger because the symptoms of his mental illness “completely faded away” some time ago. The outing from the hospital had been approved, Missenhardt said.

He had one week's worth of schizophrenia drugs with him when he left the hospital. But without the medication, it was possible that his symptoms would return, Missenhardt said.

He had been permitted unaccompanied outings from the hospital for the past year-and-a-half.

He is described as 1.79 metres tall, dark-skinned with black hair, dark eyes and a beard. At the time of his escape, he was wearing a green cargo jacket, blue jeans and black cap.

The police suspect he may have run away out of fear of being deported.

Missenhardt told the Stuttgarter Zeitung: “There was no deportation order, just an assessment by his lawyer that it soon could come to that.”

Vallipuram's application for political asylum had been rejected before he carried out the rampage.

The Local/djw

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