A gunman opened fire on shoppers in a small Norwegian town on Wednesday, killing five people, officials said.
The police chief of the Kingsburg community near the Oslo capital said there was a “confrontation” between the officers and the attacker, but did not elaborate. Police said two other people were injured and taken to hospital for intensive care, including an officer who was off duty and inside the shop where the attack took place.
“The man who did this has been arrested by the police, and there is no trace of anyone else. Based on the information we have, there is a man behind it.”
Acting Prime Minister Erna Solberg called the attack “horrific” and said it was too early to speculate on a motive. Prime Minister-designate Jonas Gahr Stuer, who is expected to take office on Thursday, called the attack “cruel and brutal” in a statement to the Norwegian news agency NTB.
Police were alerted about the attack around 6:15 p.m., and the suspect was arrested 30 minutes later. The community of about 26,000 inhabitants is about 66 kilometers (41 miles) southwest of Oslo.
According to police, the suspect was shooting arrows in downtown Kingsburg. Aas declined to comment on reports that the man used a crossbow, saying there were “several crime scenes”.
He said the man had not yet been questioned.
The Norwegian Homeland Security Agency (PST) was notified of the attack.
Town officials invited the victims and their relatives to a local hotel for help.
Mass killings are rare in Norway. The country’s worst peace period was on July 22, 2011, when right-wing extremist Anders Breivik blew himself up in the capital, Oslo, killing eight people. He then flew to the small island of Utopia, where he chased most of the teenage members of the Labor Party’s youth wing and killed 69 more victims.
Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in prison, at most under Norwegian law, but his term could be extended as long as he is considered a threat to society.