On Wednesday night, 37-year-old Danish citizen Espen Andersen Brathen went on a killing spree with a bow and arrow, murdering four women and one man in the southern town of Kongsberg. Brathen “had converted to Islam and there were fears he had been radicalized” reports the BBC.
Norwegian police sent out a press release on Thursday saying the suspect is due to appear in court on Friday at 09:00 local time. Residents have been deeply traumatized by the attack, and are flying at half-mast while flowers and other memorials are being placed in the town’s square.
Victims were all between the ages of 50 and 70, police told reporters of the attack which was first reported at 18:12 on Wednesday. “Police confronted the man six minutes later, but he shot several arrows at them and escaped. He was eventually caught about 30 minutes later” reports the BBC.
The police chief said the man killed his victims after escaping police and before his arrest roughly 30 minutes later. Police told Norwegian news agency NTB that the attacker also used other weapons, without giving more details.
Residents were ordered to stay indoors so authorities could process and examine what is being determined as a large area of ground that the attacker covered. Police searched surrounding gardens and garages with the help of sniffer dogs.
A police lawyer told the public broadcaster NRK that the suspect will be assessed by psychiatrists. Police officers “nationwide were ordered to carry firearms as an extra precaution, but there is ‘no indication so far that there is a change in the national threat level’ said the directorate’s statement.
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