Norway: Man charged with killing five in bow-and-arrow attack

The incident started at a Coop Norway store in Kongsberg

A 37-year old man has been charged with killing five people and injuring two others in a bow-and-arrow attack in the town of Kongsberg on 13 October. The suspect has been identified as Espen Andersen Bråthen, a Danish citizen living in Kongsberg.

The incident started at a Coop Extra store at 18.10 pm local time. The perpetrator allegedly moved across a large area of Kongsberg and managed to escape capture before being apprehended at 18:47 local time, following a confrontation with police.

According to police prosecutor, Ann Irén Svane Mathiassen, other weapons were also used during the incident.

The victims were four women and a man aged between 50 and 70. A spokesperson for Coop Norway confirmed that none of the retailer’s employees had been physically injured.

Communications adviser Silje Verlo Alisøy told Co-op News: “We can confirm that fortunately no employees were physically injured last night. Our focus yesterday and today is to take care of our employees and Extra Kongsberg is closed until further notice.”

According to Norwegian Public Broadcasting, an off-duty police officer dressed as a civilian was inside the store and was among those injured in the incident. The suspect is believed to have acted alone.

Police said the man had a criminal record and had been convicted for burglary and possessing small quantities of cannabis in 2012. Last year he was made subject to a six-month restraining order against two close family members after threatening to kill one of them. He was a Muslim convert and had been flagged as someone who showed signs of radicalisation. A team of psychiatrists are currently evaluating his mental health.

Prosecutor Ann Iren Svane Matthiassen confirmed the man had admitted to carrying the attacks.

Police resources from all over Eastern Norway were mobilised to Kongsberg.