It was a sombre first full day in office for Norway’s new Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre as he visited the close-knit former mining town of Kongsberg – that’s been torn apart by a bow and arrow attack that left five people dead.
“This is an event that is shocking,” he said. “And it has been shocking to people from North to South, East to West and as prime minister, I wanted to share with the authorities of Kongsberg but also the people of Kongsberg that we stand together.”
The suspect arrested at the scene of the crime was a resident with a history of mental illness – police described him as a recent convert to Islam.
“He is tired and mentally ill so we can’t interview him more now,” said police inspector Per Thomas Omholt. “So he is in an institution with police and he’s safe inside and cannot leave the institution.”
The shootings began in a supermarket and continued in the streets and homes of a quiet residential area – where friends of the victims are struggling to come to terms with the horror they witnessed.
“Now I’m totally broken into pieces”, said pensioner Svean Westad, a friend of two of the victims. “I cannot say anything more than that. I will never get over this.”
The suspect was known to residents, who described him as a solitary person who kept his head down and his headphones on.