By Paul Nordseth, John M. Olson and Mark Lewis.
KANGSBURG, Norway (AP) – A man who shot and killed five people in a small town near the Norwegian capital is known to have carried out a terrorist attack, officials said Thursday, a Scandinavian country said. In a strange and shocking attack crime is rare
Police identified the attacker as 37-year-old Danish citizen Aspen Anderson Bryathan, who was arrested on the street Wednesday night. He said he used bows and arrows and possibly other weapons to get people to a supermarket and other places in Kingsburg where they lived.
Eyewitnesses said the quiet neighborhood of their wooden houses and birch trees turned into a scene of horrific screams and commotion.
“The screams were so loud and terrible that there was no doubt that something very serious was going on,” said Kurt Einar Wild Seth, who returned home from a mishap after hearing the commotion. “I can only describe it as a ‘scream of death’, and it burned in my mind.
Four women and a man between the ages of 50 and 70 were killed and three others were injured, police said.
Anderson Brathan has been arrested on preliminary charges and will face a detention hearing on Friday. Police say they believe he acted alone.
“This whole process is an act of terrorism,” said Hans Sweire Jojold, head of Norway’s national intelligence service, known as the PST.
“We don’t know what motivated the culprit,” Sjoevold said in English. We have to wait for the results of the investigation.
He said the accused was aware of the PST, but declined to give details. The agency said the level of terrorist threat to Norway remains “moderate”.
Regional Police Chief Oli B. Seward called the man a Muslim converter and said “at first he was concerned about being a radical”, but did not say why he was first flagged or when authorities responded. What did
Norwegian media have reported that the suspect has been convicted of theft and drug possession, and last year a court ordered him to stay away from his parents for six months after threatening to kill one of them. Had given
Swann Matheson told broadcaster NRK that the suspect would be examined by forensic psychologists, which is “not uncommon in such serious cases.”
Police were alerted to the archer’s shooting around 6:15 p.m., and he was arrested about 30 minutes later. Regional Prosecutor Ann Erin Swan Matheson told the Associated Press that she made it clear after the arrest what she did. He confessed to killing five people.
He said the bow and arrow were only part of the assailant’s weapon. Police did not say what other weapon was used, but Wild Seth told the AP that when he ran to the sound of screams, he saw a woman stabbed by a man with some kind of weapon.
Wald Seth said he recognized the assailant, saying he lived nearby and “usually walks with his head down and headphones on.”
“I have only spoken to him a few times, but I have the impression that he may be in trouble,” he said.
Low-crime massacres are common in Norway, and the attack immediately reminded us of the country’s worst peace period a decade ago, when a right-wing domestic extremist killed 77 people with bombs, rifles and pistols. Killed
People have “experienced that their safe local environment suddenly became a dangerous place,” King Herald V said. “It shakes us all when terrible things happen to us, when you least expect it, in the middle of everyday life on the open road.”
Newly elected Prime Minister Jonas Gohar Storey called the attack “terrible.”
“It’s unrealistic. But the fact is that five people have been killed, many are injured and many are in shock.
Dozens of people watched the killing. Eric Benam, who lives on the same street as the supermarket that was attacked, told the AP he saw shop workers sheltering at the doors.
“I saw them hiding in the corner. Then I went to see what was happening, and I saw the police moving forward with shields and rifles. It was a very strange sight,” Benam said.
Police, with other cities, flooded in Kangsburg and closed several roads. Helicopters lit up the scene with blue light from emergency vehicles and spotlights.
“On Thursday morning, the whole city was terribly quiet,” he said.
“People are sad and shocked,” Benam said.
The flag was lowered by half the crew, and residents placed flowers, candles and stuffed animals around the temporary monument in a central square.
Mayor Kerry Ann Sands called the last 24 hours a “nightmare.”
The town was attacked last night and five people were killed. I think most people are shocked that something like this could happen here. It is a quiet city, a quiet municipality.
The main church of Kingsburg was also open to those who needed comfort.
“I don’t think anyone expects that kind of experience. But no one could have imagined it could happen in our small town.
Olson reported from Copenhagen, Denmark and Lewis from London.