Police said they were investigating an attempted murder case in Limassol after a middle school was attacked by a teen using a hammer, with reports saying the incident was preceded by a feud during online gaming.
A 13-year-old student at a private school in Limassol was rushed to the Emergency Room at Limassol General Hospital on Monday morning after he was hit on the head with a hammer by another 13-year-old student of a different school in the same district.
Reports said the victim was walking with friends in the school yard when the alleged attacker, accompanied by a 15-year-old student, entered the school premises around 10:30am and headed straight for the group of students.
The 13-year-old was struck in the head with a hammer, suffering a fractured skull, while teachers at the school were able to stop the two intruders as they were attempting to run away.
Motives were not immediately known but some media suggested the attack took place following a number of bullying incidents online, without making it clear who was on the receiving end
Police later said the perpetrators were also carrying a knife with a 9-inch blade (25cm) in a backpack, with the two teens also admitting to investigators they had hidden five kitchen knives and other items earlier in an area adjacent to the school.
Motives were not immediately known but some media suggested the attack took place following a number of bullying incidents online, without making it clear who was on the receiving end.
CID Limassol official Lefteris Kyriacou confirmed the two 13-year-olds and the 15-year-old had interacted with each other online, with media reports singling out action-packed survival game Fortnite, where the winner is the one who kills everybody else, and social deduction game Among Us, where some players in a group are assigned to be murderers.
Kyriacou said the two alleged attackers previously conspired to kill the victim, but no further details were made available. The law enforcement official confirmed that the three individuals were acquainted with each other both online and offline, with a feud dating back some time.
According to Cypriot law, the 13-year-old alleged attacker cannot be held criminally responsible for any actions, while both he and the 15-year-old suspect were interrogated by police in the presence of their parents and social workers.
Additional reports said a child psychiatrist recommended both perpetrators for involuntary court-ordered mental health treatment, while the 15-year-old was found to be incompetent to stand trial.
An arrest warrant for the 15-year-old was not carried out while local media said the state’s Social Services department would need to decide how authorities should handle the two youths.