In what is being deemed an attack of terror, on Wednesday, a man armed with a bow and arrow was arrested after killing five people and wounding two others, including an off-duty cop. The attacks occurred in the small southeastern Norwegian town of Kongsberg, a town of about 28,000 people, 42 miles from the capital of Oslo.
Police were alerted to the assailant around 6:15 pm, who captured the man 30 minutes later. The man was reportedly walking in the downtown area of Kongsberg, shooting arrows. It wasn’t until after police arrived that he began to kill.
According to regional police chief Ole B. Saeverud, “From what we know now, it is reasonably clear that some, probably everyone, was killed after the police were in contact with the perpetrator.”
The victims include four women and one man, ages 50 to 70 years old. The two wounded are in intensive care at a local hospital.
Police confirmed that the lone killer is a 37-year-old Danish citizen living in Kongsberg.
Norwegian media revealed that the man had already been in trouble with the law, previously being convicted of burglary and possession of drugs. Just last year, a local court issued a restraining order on behalf of his parents for six months after he threatened to kill one of them.
Police now believe it was an act of terror, describing the assailant as a Muslim convert already flagged as radicalized.
PST, Norway’s domestic security agency, said the attack “currently appears to be an act of terrorism,” but that further investigation would reveal the motive.
“We will return to a more detailed description of the course of events when we have a better overview of what happened,” said police inspector Øyvind Aas. “It goes without saying that this is a very serious and extensive situation.”
Norwegian police are usually unarmed but were ordered by the police directorate to carry firearms temporarily. The directorate said, “This is an extra precaution. The police have no indication so far that there is a change in the national threat level.”
The last time a tragedy like this occurred was on July 22, 2011, when Anders Breivik set off a bomb in the capital of Oslo that killed eight people. He then traveled to the tiny Utoya Island, stalking mostly teen members of the Labor Party’s youth wing, killing another 69 victims.