Oct. 14 (UPI) — Police in Norway on Thursday identified the suspect behind a bow-and-arrow attack that killed five people and injured three more and said they were treating the case as an act of terrorism.
Norwegian Police Security Service chief Hans Sverre Sjovold identified the suspect as Espen Andersen Brathen, 37, and said the attack “appears to be an act of terrorism” while noting it is important for the investigation to go ahead so they can “clarify” the motive.
Regional police chief Ole Bredrup Saeverud also said officers had been in contact with Sjovold in the past including “as a result of previous concerns related to radicalization, noting he had converted to Islam.
Police also said that four women and one man aged 50-70 were killed in the attack.
Authorities said they first received reports of the shootings, believed to have been carried out with a bow and arrow, at 6:13 p.m. in Kongsberg, which is about 50 miles southwest of the capital of Oslo. Police arrested the armed man at 6:47 p.m.
The attack came just after Labor leader Jonas Gahr Stone was elected prime minister and he was set to visit the town on Friday.
“We have during last night, this morning and this afternoon learned more about what atrocities have taken place, what cruel acts innocent people were exposed to, what unrest and fear hit the community in Kongsberg, and spread to the whole country,” Store said during an introductory press conference Thursday.
King Harald of Norway also sent a message to the mayor of Kongsberg stating that “the rest of the nation stands with you.”
“We sympathize with the relatives and injured in the grief and despair,” he said. “And we think of all those affected in Kongsberg who have experienced that their safe local environment suddenly became a dangerous place. It shakes us all when horrible things happen near us, when you least expect it, in the middle of everyday life on the open street.”