The perpetrator of an attack in which five people died and two were injured on Wednesday in Kongsberg (southwestern Norway) is a convert to Islam who appeared on a list of people who worried about his radicalization, police reported Thursday.
“The police were in contact with him before, there was a concern related to his radicalization. But we have not registered any notice in 2021,” Ole Bredrup Sæverud, commissioner of the southwest district, told a press conference.
For now they do not speak of terrorist attack
Sæverud stressed, however, that the investigation is at an early stage and that it will take time to clarify the reasons, for which he refused to assure that it was a terrorist attack.
The attacker, a 37-year-old Danish resident of Kongsberg for a long time, used more weapons in the attack and police are “pretty sure” he acted alone.
Four women and one man murdered
The dead are four women and a man between the ages of 50 and 70 and whose identity has not yet been made public; one of the two injured is a policeman who was on a day off.
The Norwegian Police received at 18:13 local time (16.13 GMT) a warning that a man armed with a bow and arrows was moving through the center of Kongsberg, and five minutes later several officers had contact with him, but he managed to escape later to shoot arrows at them.
The arrest took place at 6:47 p.m. local time, and in the action the police fired warning shots.
“From what we know so far, it seems clear that the assailant killed some, probably all, after having had contact for the first time with the police,” said Sæverud, who asked that videos and photos be stopped being disseminated on social networks of the attack.
The investigating prosecutor, Ann Irén Svane Mathiassen, had previously revealed to the Norwegian media that the individual has admitted the facts and that he “contacted” the health services on several occasions in the past.
During the persecution of the individual, in which helicopters and special police forces were mobilized, the authorities asked residents to stay home after verifying that a person had been shot with an arrow.
Acting Prime Minister Erna Solberg called the events “horrible”, terms similar to those used by the opposition leader, Labor Jonas Gahr Støre, who will take over as head of government today after winning the general elections a month ago.
The Kongsberg city council has set up a shelter for relatives and affected people and mobilized a crisis team to deal with the situation.