The man who killed five people in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg and injured two civilians with bow and arrow is a 37-year-old Dane who has converted to Islam, has become known by now.
The Dane has been living in the village for years — in a popular ski area 68 kilometres away from Oslo‘s capital — and have had more contact with the mental health service in the past and have been in the sight of police before after signs of radicalization. He has also been picked up several times. For now, it looks like the man was acting alone, said Øyvind Aas, head of the police operation unit in Kongsberg.
“We have no suspicion that anyone else was involved,” Aas reports to the Norwegian broadcaster. The man’s motive is still under investigation. Among other things, there has been a search of the man who would have already confessed. The search continued Thursday morning. “We‘re going to investigate if there was a terrorist motive.”
A press conference announced Thursday morning that four of the five victims are women and that all victims are between 50 and 70 years old.
De Deen, who was born in Norway and has a Norwegian father, was arrested at 6.47 pm on Wednesday evening. Prior to the arrest, there was first confrontation with the police, after which the man managed to get away. After officers found him again later, warning shots were fired. Shortly after, he could be cuffed. In addition to an arrow and bow, he used other weapons, including a knife, witnesses report.
The suspect initially shot his weapon at a COOP supermarket in west Kongsberg, according to those witnesses. An off-duty police officer was injured when he was shot in his back with an arrow about seventy-inch length, say several people, some of whom also saw an arrow stabbing in a wall.
The agent, along with another victim who was present in the store, was seriously injured to the hospital. However, they would not be in danger of life. After that, several more victims fell after the gunman moved towards the center. Some victims were found in their homes. It would have taken about half an hour since the start of the attack before he was arrested.
Witness Sarkis Younan, who lives next to the COOP, told local media to watch the Netflix series Squid game and had nothing to see at first. “I suddenly heard sirens and saw blue light, but thought it was in the TV series I watched. Suddenly I heard the police scream: ‘Drop your gun! ‘”
The 24-year-old student said officers entered the store, while other armed officers warned residents to stay in doors. The seriousness was clear very soon. Witnesses saw lifeless people, heard heavy howls and screams, and saw people running on the streets for their lives.
There were at least eight ambulances and three trauma helicopters on site. Oslo University Hospital was put on standby to receive victims and a crisis team was assembled. The local church has opened its doors to people seeking support.
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Mayor Kari Anne Sand spoke of a ‘horrific incident‘ on TV2. “It’s a tragedy, words fall short. Now we have to try to take care of the residents as much as we can.” Acting Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg called the attack ‘shocking’.
The police department immediately instructed officers across the country to carry firearms, in case more attacks were to follow, by other gunmen and at other locations across the country. This happens more often in terrorist attacks.
The gunman was arrested by police last year after threatening his family with death. There were worries back then because he would radicalize quickly. He was not allowed to visit for six months in the end.
According to the Kongsberg Court ruling, the man had left a Colt revolver on a bench before leaving the house he visited. Previously, in 2012, he was convicted of robbery and drug use. He also broke into the Norwegian Mining Museum by storing several windows.
De Dane now has a lawyer, who states that his client is cooperating with the investigation. “He details what happened,” Fredrik Neumann tells Norwegian media. “I spoke to him and he was questioned.”