A man armed with a bow and arrow killed five people and wounded two others on Wednesday in Kongsberg, southwestern Norway, before being arrested. Norwegian police said they did not rule out the possibility that it was a terrorist act.
"I can unfortunately confirm that we have five dead and two injured," local police chief Evid Os told a news conference. The two injured were taken to hospital and have been admitted to intensive care units (ICU), however, according to Evid Os, their lives are not in danger. One is an off-duty police officer who was in a supermarket, one of several locations where the man attacked people.
'...I saw people running to save their lives. Among them was a woman holding a child in her arms'
"According to the information we have at the moment, only one person was involved in these acts," said the Kongsberg police chief. The motives of the perpetrator remain unknown at this stage. According to the generally well-informed television network TV2, the alleged perpetrator is a Norwegian who converted to Islam and has a mental history. The authorities did not want to confirm or deny this information. "Looking at how things turned out, it is natural to look at whether it was a terrorist act," said Evid Os.
"The suspect has not been questioned and it is too early to make any assumptions about his motives," he said, adding that investigators "keep all possibilities open". "
According to police, the man is being held at the police station in the neighboring town of Dramen. No other suspect is wanted. The police, who were notified at 18:13 local time, arrested the suspect at 18:47.
In the small town of about 25,000 people, about 80 kilometers west of Oslo, access to the sites where the attacks took place was blocked by a special tape placed by forensic officers at the crime scene and police officers were present, a French Agency spokesman said.
Hansin, who witnessed the attack in part, told TV2 she heard pandemonium and saw a woman trying to cover herself and "a man on the street corner with arrows in a quiver on his shoulder and a bow in his hand". "Then I saw people running to save their lives. Among them was a woman holding a child in her arms," she told the network. "These events shock us," said ναrna Solberg, Norway's prime minister, on the last day of her term. Today, she relinquishes her position to Labor leader Jonas Gar Stere, the winner of the September 13 parliamentary elections.
Residents were advised by local authorities to stay in their homes, while strong police forces and several ambulances were deployed in the area. Police helicopters and helicopter gunships for the injured, as well as a team of pyrotechnics, were also sent to the scene.
The Norwegian Police Directorate-General has ordered its members - police officers who generally do not carry weapons in Norway - to temporarily carry weapons throughout the country. Norwegian media broadcast snapshots depicting black arrows, thrown down and one shot into a wall. In the past, Norway, a traditionally peaceful country, has been bloodily attacked by far-right supporters.
On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people, initially detonating a bomb near the government headquarters in Oslo (8 dead), before going to the island of Utegia, where Labor youths were gathered, disguised as a police officer, and began shooting with a rifle (69 victims).
In August 2019, Philip Manshaus opened fire inside a mosque in a suburb of Oslo, before being disarmed by worshipers without serious injuries. The neo-Nazi, racist young man had previously murdered his adopted half-sister of Asian descent. Various jihadist attacks have also been foiled by Norwegian police.