A witness says she would have been involved in the attack in Kongsberg, Norway, had she not had a cigarette on her terrace, where she saw the killer with a bow
A traumatized witness described the terrifying moment in which she observed a man who killed five people in a bow and arrow attack in Norway.
The woman, referred to only as Hansine, said she narrowly missed out on being involved in the supermarket robbery and feared that if she hadn’t stopped for a cigarette, she would have been killed.
Panic set in when she saw someone run past her terrace and then a man with a quiver over his shoulder and a bow in hand stood on a street corner, she said TV2.
Hansine said the gunman was soon gone and she saw people run for their lives, including a woman holding a child when terrorist stories surfaced in Kongsberg after the fatal attack.
Terrorism was examined as a possible motive.
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Other witnesses have described seeing the bodies of the victims on the ground and hearing cries for help.
Ida Skinness was on her way out when her roommate yelled at her to stay inside.
Ida said to TV2: “Then I heard howls and screams outside and saw people running and then a lot of blue lights.”
Hansine said a person, possibly a police officer who was responding to the rampage, ordered her to protect herself inside her home after seeing the attacker on the street.
She soon turned on her television and realized the horror that was happening nearby.
Hansine said she planned to go to the co-op supermarket after finishing her cigarette, where the attack occurred.
She added, “I’m very grateful that I took this smoke or I would have ended up in the middle of it on my way to the store.
“The smoke saved me.”
Five people were killed and two others were seriously injured, including an off-duty police officer who was a customer in the store, on Wednesday evening.
The suspect, a 38-year-old Dane who lives in Kongsberg, was arrested after escaping the scene and officials firing warning shots, police said.
He is said to have been the only attacker and remained in custody Thursday morning, but had not yet been questioned.
“The man used a bow and arrow … for some of the attacks,” Police Chief Oeyvind Aas told reporters.
Police were investigating whether other weapons had also been used, he said.
The death toll was the worst of any attack in Norway since 2011, when right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people, most of them teenagers in a youth camp
The attacks on Wednesday occurred over “a large area” of Kongsberg, a community of around 28,000 in southeastern Norway, about 65 kilometers from the capital, Oslo.
After the attacks, the police department announced that they had instructed officials across the country to carry firearms. The Norwegian police are usually unarmed, but officers have access to weapons and rifles if necessary.
“This is an additional precautionary measure. The police have not yet received any indications of a change in the national threat level,” the directorate said in a statement.