At least five people were killed and two others were injured by a man armed with a bow and arrow in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg, police said.
Oyvind Aas, the town’s police chief, about 70 km southwest of the capital Oslo, told a news conference on Wednesday night that the attacker had been arrested and “to the best of our knowledge, he is the only person implicated”.
Aas said there had been a “confrontation” between the officers and the attacker, but did not elaborate. Two others, including an off-duty police officer, were in intensive care.
Aas declined to comment press report That a police officer was shot in the back. He said the attacks took place in “a large area” of the city and involved multiple crime scenes.
The caretaker prime minister, Erna Solberg, described reports of the attack as “horrific” and said it was too early to speculate about the man’s motive.
“I understand that many people are afraid, but it is important to emphasize that the police are now in control,” she said at a news conference.
The designated prime minister, Jonas Gahr Store, who is expected to take office on Thursday, called the attack “a brutal and brutal act” in comments to Norwegian news agency NTB.
The motive of the attacker is not yet clear, Aas said, but police are not ruling out terrorism. “One person has done these tasks alone,” he said. “It is natural to consider whether this is an act of terrorism. But the person has not been questioned and it is too early to come to any conclusion.”
The suspect, whose age and identity police declined to disclose, was taken to a police station in the nearby town of Dramon and no one else was being sought in connection with the attack. Norway’s Minister of Justice Monica Moland was monitoring the situation.
Norwegian Public Broadcaster, NRK, said Police in Kongsberg, a municipality of about 28,000 people, received information at 6:15 p.m. local time that a man was moving around the town center with a bow and arrow.
A “large number” of police, as well as helicopters, dogs and armed response teams, quickly secured the area, Aas said, and the suspect was arrested after a brief confrontation with officers about 20 minutes later.
Eight ambulances and three air ambulances were dispatched to the scene and the Oslo University Hospital and the local hospital in Drammen were ready to receive the victims.
The shooting appears to have started in or near a coop store in the city centre, where several people were injured, with Norwegian media citing regional government officials as saying the details were “still very confusing”. . According to media reports, several other people were injured in different shops in the city centre.
A spokesman for the coop, Harald Christiansen, told NRK that “a serious incident had occurred in our store” but that there were no employees among the injured. “We are providing assistance to our colleagues and helping the police with their investigation,” he said.
“A lot of resources were sent from many places, including the Oslo police district, bomb squads, national police and emergency response teams,” Aas told reporters. “There is still a lot of police activity in the entire area. They are securing various crime scenes… and have multiple witnesses to interview.”
The VG newspaper showed pictures of an arrow stuck in the wall of a wood-paneled building.
Kongsberg Mayor Kari Anne Sand told the newspaper the attack was “a tragedy for everyone involved. I have no words.” Sand said a crisis team has been set up at a hotel to assist those affected. “We’re doing everything we can,” she said. “Right now it’s a chaotic situation and there are a lot of rumours.”
Shortly after the attack, Norway’s National Police Directorate said it had ordered officers across the country to carry firearms. Norwegian police are usually unarmed but officers have guns and rifles when needed.
“This is an additional precaution. The police have so far no indication that there has been any change in the national threat level,” the directorate said in a statement.