A Dane in custody in Norway suspected of a bow and arrow attack in a small town that killed five people and injured two others is a Muslim convert who had previously been singled out as radicalized, police said Thursday.
“Before, there had been concerns that the man had become radicalized,” Police Chief Ole B. Saeverud told a news conference.
The victims were four women and a man between the ages of 50 and 70, Saeverud said.
The man is suspected of shooting at people at various locations in the city of Kongsberg on Wednesday night. Several of the victims were in a supermarket, police said.
Norwegian news agency NTB quoted police as saying the suspect also used other weapons.
There was “a confrontation” between the officers and the assailant in connection with the arrest, police said, but did not give details.
Both hospitalized victims are in intensive care. They include an off-duty police officer who was inside the store. His status was not immediately known.
Police said officers who responded to the incident were also shot with arrows.
The suspect is being held on preliminary charges, which is one step before formal charges. Police believe he acted alone.
Police were alerted to the attack around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday and arrested the suspect about 30 minutes later.
Police spokesman Oeyvind Aas said “we will return to a more detailed description of the course of events when we have a better overview of what happened.”
“It goes without saying that this is a very serious and extensive situation, and it naturally affects Kongsberg and those who live here,” he said.
Prime Minister-designate Jonas Gahr Stoere, who is expected to take office Thursday afternoon, called the attack “horrible.”
“This is unreal. But the reality is that five people died, many were injured and many are in shock, “Gahr Stoere told Norwegian broadcaster NRK on Thursday.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres wrote on Twitter that he was “shocked and saddened by the tragic news from Norway.”
City officials said the main church was open to anyone in need of support.
Kongsberg, a small city of about 26,000 people, is located about 66 kilometers (41 miles) southwest of Oslo.