A man wielding a bow and arrow killed five people and wounded two others near a grocery store in the southeastern Norwegian town of Kongsberg on Wednesday, authorities said.
What do we know so far?
A police spokesperson told reporters the suspect has been taken into custody.
“The man has been apprehended … from the information we now have, this person carried out these actions alone,” police chief Oeyvind Aas said.
“Several people have been injured and several are dead,” Aas added.
The attack reportedly happened over a “large area” in the center of the town. Police were alerted at around 6:30 p.m. local time and arrested the suspect about 20 minutes later.
The motive behind the attack is still unclear. Information about the man’s identity has not yet been released by authorities.
Too early to determine whether attack was terrorism
Police said it’s too early to declare whether the attack was an act of terrorism pending an investigation.
Acting Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg described the attack as “gruesome,” while Prime Minister-designate Jonas Gahr Stoere called it “a cruel and brutal act.”
Parts of Kongsberg were reportedly evacuated in the wake of the violence, according to Norwegian media.
Dozens of helicopters and ambulances were dispatched to the scene. The two injured victims have been hospitalized and put into intensive care, with one of them being an off-duty police officer.
The Norwegian Police Directorate ordered officers to carry weapons following the attack. Police in the Scandinavian country are usually unarmed.
The criminal act comes a little over 10 years after right-wing extremist Anders Breivik carried out the worst terrorist attack in Norwegian history.
Breivik set off a bomb in Oslo and went on a shooting rampage on the island of Utoya in July, 2011, killing 77 people in total.
wd/wmr (AP, Reuters, dpa)