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Eyewitness describes knife attack on Turku's Market Square

A vendor at Turku's main market tells Yle how she and another woman comforted the child of one of Friday's victims while contacting the infant's father.

Henkilö soittamassa kanteletta kynttilöiden vieressä kadulla.
A woman played a traditional Finnish kantele on the square on Friday night. Image: Markku Ojala / AOP

Turku resident Larisa Kosner witnessed Friday's knife attack on Turku's main Market Square from close quarters. She was working on the square at the time as a flea market vendor.

Kosner tells Yle that she was standing some 5-10 metres from the assailant when he attacked a woman who had a small baby in a pram.

"The woman screamed, tried to defend her

Larisa Kosner
Larisa Kosner Image: Larisa Kosner
self and to get away from the man with the knife. Then he let go of the woman and ran with the knife toward Puutori," a square a few blocks away.

Some male passers-by tried to catch the attacker.

An ambulance arrived after about 10 minutes, and Kosner says doctors tried to resuscitate the injured woman. Kosner was at this point less than half a metre from the spot where the victim was stabbed, and noticed an infant in the stroller.

"There was a girl next to it who was comforting the baby. I went over, too, and assumed that it was the woman's baby. I saw a mobile phone in the pocket of a baby care bag and took it out," Kosner explains.

Kosner sought to calm the baby while another woman tried to contact the victim's relatives using her phone.

"She called many different places trying to get hold of the woman's husband. I was next to her, holding the infant. The baby started to get restless so I took it into my lap and comforted it."

The situation lasted at least half an hour. It took about 15 minutes to reach the woman's husband. Kosner held the child until the father arrived.

Market re-opens

The market opened as usual on Saturday, but a number of the usual vendors stayed away after Friday's shocking events.

Police suspect that the assailant chose random women as his victims, stabbing eight women and two men who reportedly tried to stop him. Two of the women died.

Some of the eight other victims have serious injuries, but none are seen as life-threatening. On Sunday, four patients were still being treated at Turku University Hospital, three of them in intensive care, including the suspected assailant. All are in stable condition.

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