COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A man armed with a bow fired arrows at shoppers in a small Norwegian town Wednesday, killing five people before he was arrested, authorities said.
The police chief in the community of Kongsberg, near the capital of Oslo, said there was “a confrontation” between officers and the assailant, but he did not elaborate. Two other people were wounded and hospitalized in intensive care, including an officer who was off duty and inside the shop where the attack took place, police said.
“The man who carried out the act has been arrested by the police, and there is no active search for more people. Based on the information we have, there is one person behind this,” Police Chief Oeyving Aas said.
Acting Prime Minister Erna Solberg described the attack as “gruesome” and said it was too early to speculate on a motive. The prime minister-designate, Jonas Gahr Stoere, who is expected to take office Thursday, called the assault “a cruel and brutal act” in comments to Norwegian news agency NTB.
Police were alerted to the attack around 6:15 p.m. and arrested the suspect about 30 minutes later. The community of some 26,000 inhabitants is about 66 kilometers (41 miles) southwest of Oslo.
According to police, the suspect walked around downtown Kongsberg shooting arrows. Aas declined to comment on reports that the man used a crossbow, saying only there were “several crime scenes.”
The man has not been questioned yet, Aas said.
Norway’s domestic security agency PST was informed of the assault.
Town officials invited people who were affected by the attack and their relatives to gather for support at a local hotel.
The attack comes over a decade after Anders Behring Breivik, a right-wing extremist, set off a bomb in Oslo’s government district and then carried out a shooting massacre at the summer camp of the left-wing Labor Party’s youth organization on Utoya island. The violence on July 22, 2011, killed 77 people and stunned Norway.
Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in prison, the maximum under Norwegian law, but his term can be extended as long as he’s considered a danger to society.