The 37-year-old Danish citizen Espen Andersen Bråthen will appear in court on Friday, but the police have not disclosed the charges he faces.
The head of the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST), Hans Sverre Sjøvold, told reporters on Thursday that the attack “looks like an act of terrorism”, but pointed out that it is important to continue the investigation. “We can clarify the motive of the attack. The defendant is .”
Police Chief Ole Bredrup Sæverud said the police officer had been in contact with the man, including “because of previous concerns about radicalization.” Officials also revealed that the suspect had converted to Islam.
Sæverud stated that although the suspect did not appear in their sight this year, the police “had not received any reports of radicalization in 2021”.
Four women and one man were killed in the attack, and three were injured. “We have some information about the five dead. There are four women and one man who have not been formally identified. It will take some time. They are all between 50 and 70 years old,” Sæverud said.
The timeline of Wednesday’s incident shows that only 35 minutes have passed between the first report to the police of a man shooting with a bow and arrow and the arrest of the suspect.
Sæverud said that the first alarm call came into the operation center at 6:12 pm. He said that a patrol team was immediately dispatched to the location, and then three patrol teams were dispatched. The first patrol team at the scene found the perpetrator only briefly.
He said that a few minutes later, news came from the public that the suspect had been found in several places in Kongsberg.
The suspect was arrested at 6:47 pm. At this time, 22 police patrols have been deployed and more resources are on the way. Sæverud stated that a warning was issued during the arrest.
He said that from what the police now knows, “it is clear that after the first contact with the perpetrator by the police, everyone could be killed.”
According to the police, the perpetrator is believed to be acting alone.
According to a report by Expressen, a subsidiary of CNN in Sweden, one of the witnesses to the attack, Linda Ostergaard (Linda Ostergaard) was taking her two daughters home by bicycle when the attack was encountered.
Ostgard said: “My little daughter suddenly stopped a few meters in front of me because there was a lot of blue light.”
“We saw a police car with a police siren approaching. It stopped on the top of the street. Two police officers jumped out of the car with weapons and ran to the shop here. They shouted,’Armed police, put down their weapons. .'”
“Then we were told to leave and we must go to a safe place. So we ran to the corner there and stood at the corner. There, we met another person, and he said he called the police, and the murderer drove towards him from below. Gun, and then we saw an arrow on the road below. No crossbow, only a long arrow lying there.”
“The perpetrator committed a terrible act”
The attack occurred on the eve of the inauguration of the new government, and last month’s parliamentary elections overthrew the long-ruling Conservative Party.
Labor Party leader Jonas Gal Stowe assumed the post of prime minister on Thursday. He said on social media that his first call after assuming his new position was to Mayor Kongsberg.
“Last night, this morning, and this afternoon, we learned more about what atrocities occurred, what cruel acts suffered by innocent people, what riots and fears occurred in the Kongsberg community, and spread to the entire country,” Store added road. At the introductory press conference.
“This shows that our society is fragile,” Store said. “We can’t draw conclusions about the motive and what is behind this action. The police must be allowed to complete their work and clarify, but it again emphasizes that preparation is a complex task for society.”
He confirmed that the new prime minister will visit the town on Friday. The night before, as reports of the attack continued to appear, his predecessor, Erna Solberg, described the development as “creepy” in the last few hours of assuming the position. And promised to deploy “all necessary resources”.
“The perpetrators committed terrible actions to several people. This is a very dramatic situation that has dealt a heavy blow to Kongsberg’s society. These events shocked all of us,” she said.
Norwegian King Harald expressed his sympathy in a text message to the mayor of Kongsberg on Thursday, saying that “the rest of the country is with you.”
“We sympathize with relatives injured in grief and despair,” he said. “We think of all the people affected by Kongsberg. They have all experienced their safe local environment suddenly becoming a dangerous place. When terrible things happen near us, when you least expect it, in the open air. In our daily life, this shocks all of us on the street.”
The attack occurred more than a decade after the worst terrorist attack in Norway.
In August 2019, another man burst into a mosque in Oslo with a gun and was subsequently subdued. That year, the country’s intelligence agency reported that right-wing terrorism was on the rise globally and warned that the country might become a target of attacks in the near future.
CNN’s Rob Picheta, Vasco Cotovio, Seb Shukla, and Lianne Kolirin contributed to this report.