Five murdered and two injured in Norway shooting


On Wednesday, October 13, 2021, Norway had its deadliest attack since July 2011 in Kongsberg, as a man armed with a bow and arrow went on a rampage. Police stated that at least five people were killed and two are known and injured in intensive care, including an off-duty police officer.

While this is a much smaller number than the usual reports in the United States, murder is incredibly rare in the country (with only a total of 31 murders in the entire year of 2020) and the tragedy left many Norwegians on edge.

The Norwegian public broadcaster (NRK) announced that at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, nearly 28,000 people received alerts of the bow and arrow being fired by a man walking around the town center. Details are still very confusing to both the general public and government officials, but the incident appears to have started inside a Coop store in Kongsberg.

Harald Kristiansen, a spokesperson on behalf of Coop, stated that there was certainly a “serious incident in our store,” but all the employees and customers appear to be free from any possible physical injuries. “We are providing assistance to our colleagues and helping police with their investigation.”

Jonas Gahr Støre, the prime minister-designate expected to take office shortly, referred to this assault in NTB as a “cruel and brutal act.”

Erna Soldberg, the acting prime minister of Norway, stated that “The incident has left us all shaken. The news is terrifying. I understand that people are getting scared…I emphasize that we do not know if it is terror or not.”

Øyvind Aas, the police chief of Kongsberg, also said in a press conference on Wednesday night that the suspect has been taken into custody, but they have not yet established the motive; however, terrorism hasn’t entirely been ruled out as so little is actually known about the case. “It is natural to consider whether it is an act of terrorism. But the man has not been questioned and it is too early to come to any conclusion.”

In the press conference, he also stated in a discussion with reporters that “The information we now have, this person carried out these actions alone,” and claimed that investigators wouldn’t bother searching for accomplices.

Although things were mentioned by Aas regarding the criminal and his consequences, little was said about the police officer shot in the back. Aas even went and declined a question from the press. In his vague response to other press questions, he stated that various crime scenes were involved, and the attacks occurred over “a large area” of the city.

Many Norwegian authorities have shown their distress to the situation by stating that not enough has been done to rule out youth right-wing extremism. Additionally, Norway’s intelligence service analysts have been warning about possible attacks.

Despite gun ownership being incredibly restricted in the country of Norway and police officers typically being routinely unarmed, permitted to only use guns in few exceptional situations, the tragedy serves as an example of other ways massacres can take place, even in some of the most peaceful of European countries.

After this event, police in Norway have been ordered to carry firearms nationwide. Norway was one of 19 countries where law enforcement officers were unarmed, but police directorates believe it would be best to take extra precautions given the recent situation; regardless of the small change, they feel that there will likely be no additional changes in protection on the national level.

Throughout Wednesday night, helicopters worked their way through the sky of Kongsberg while investigators traveled the streets to speak with residents. The horror and disbelief expressed that the small city of Kongsberg could be such a target of violence remains unmatched.