A 37-year-old Danish national has been charged over the killing of five people in a bow and arrow attack in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg, police have confirmed.
Several independent sources inform TV 2 that the accused man is a convert to Islam. He has been in contact with the Norwegian health service several times.
One of the police's most important tasks will therefore be to clarify the motive for the attacks in Kongsberg, and the man's possible health condition.
Night to Thursday, the police confirmed that the accused is a 37-year-old Danish citizen, living in Kongsberg. Aftenposten knows that the perpetrator has converted to Islam.
The British Telegraph on the background to the attacks yesterday afternoon: Local media reported that the attacker opened fire in a Coop Extra supermarket on the western side of the town, after which residents were ordered to stay indoors and large areas were cordoned off. Police said that the attacks took place over "a large area" and encompassed "several crime scenes" across the town, a municipality of around 28,000 people approximately 10 miles from Oslo in southeastern Norway.
According to police, the suspect walked around downtown Kongsberg shooting arrows. Kongsberg's police chief said there was "a confrontation" between officers and the assailant, but he did not elaborate.
Two other people were wounded and hospitalised in intensive care, including an officer who was off duty and inside the shop where the attack took place, police said.
Norwegian Police released a statement early on Thursday confirming the arrest and charge of the Danish citizen living in Kongsberg, countering earlier television reports alleging the attacker was a Norwegian man.
“A 37-year-old man has been arrested and charged after five people were killed and two injured in Kongsberg center on Wednesday night,” said the police statement. “The man is a Danish citizen, but lives in Kongsberg. He was taken into police custody in Drammen on Wednesday night. We decided to confirm this information because many rumours were circulating on social networks about the perpetrator of the attack, some [implicating] people who have no connection with these serious acts,” said a police statement.
According to Norwegian media the suspect was answering police questions.
NRK again: According to the police attorney, the man is an acquaintance of the police and has lived in Kongsberg for several years.
The police also confirm that the accused used other weapons in addition to bow and arrow, but will not say anything more specific about what kind of weapon this applies to. Rumour on social media is a knife or knives.
Defendant's defender Fredrik Neumann arrived at Drammen police station at 02:00 on Thursday night. Neumann informs the Danish news agency Ritzau that the accused will be produced for custody on Thursday. He further says that new interrogations are planned, but that the time has not been decided.
The police are saying nothing about the victims until their next-of-kin have all been properly informed. More will be reported during the course of today.
Photograph of one of the arrows from Reuters