Norway attack victims were stabbed, not shot with arrows

Five killed by man initially wielding bow and arrow were attacked with ‘stabbing weapons’, police say

Three students of artist Hanne Merethe Englund, one of five victims of a stabbing attack on October 13th, lay flowers in front of her house in Kongsberg, Norway. Photograph: Terje Bendiksby/NTB/AFP via Getty Images

Five people killed in a small Norwegian town last week were all stabbed to death and not shot with a bow and arrows as initially suspected, police said on Monday.

Four women and one man, aged between 52 and 78, were killed in the attack on October 13th in Kongsberg, a town about 70 km west of the capital, Oslo.

Three people were also injured, including an off-duty police officer who was shot with a bow and arrow in the early phase of the 35-minute rampage.

But the assailant then appeared to have discarded this weapon, investigators said.


"Five people were killed with stabbing weapons," police inspector Per Thomas Omholt told a news conference.

He declined to say whether these were knives or larger weapons. “Some were killed inside their own homes, others out in public,” Insp Omholt said.

Last Wednesday, police had said a man “armed with” a bow and arrow had committed the killings. They later added that other weapons were also involved. Insp Omholt did not say why it had taken six days to clarify what weapon was used.

Witnesses have described how they fled for their lives as the attack unfolded.

The sole suspect in the case, named by police last week as Espen Andersen Braathen (37), is believed by investigators to be mentally ill and is being held in a psychiatric facility.

The death toll was the worst of any attack in Norway since 2011, when far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people, most of them teenagers at a youth camp. – Reuters