COPENHAGEN, Denmark – A Dane detained in Norway suspected of a bow-and-arrow attack on a small town that kills five people and injures two others is a Muslim convert previously flagged as radicalized police said Thursday.
“People used to worry that the man was being radicalized,” Police Chief Ole B. Saeverud said at a press conference.
The victims were four women and one man between the ages of 50 and 70, Saeverud said.
The man is said to have shot people in several locations in the city of Kongsberg on Wednesday evening.
Several of the victims were in a supermarket, police said.
The Norwegian news agency NTB quoted the police as saying that the suspect had also used other weapons.
In connection with the arrest, there was “a confrontation” between the officers and the attacker, the police said, but did not provide any information.
The two hospitalized victims are in intensive care. Among them is a policeman who was not on duty. Her condition was initially unknown.
Police said officers who responded to the incident were also shot at with arrows.
The suspect is being held on preliminary charges, which is only one step ahead of formal charges. The police assume that he acted alone.
Police were made aware of the attack at around 6.15 p.m. on Wednesday and the suspect was arrested about 30 minutes later.
Prime Minister-designate Jonas Gahr Stoere, who is due to take office on Thursday, described the attack as “terrible”.
“This is unreal. But the reality is that five people have been killed, many have been injured and many are in shock, ”Gahr Stoere told Norwegian broadcaster NRK on Thursday.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres wrote on Twitter that he was “shocked and saddened by the tragic news from Norway”.
City officials said the main church is open to anyone in need of assistance.
Kongsberg, a small town with about 26,000 inhabitants, is located about 66 km southwest of Oslo.