2 killed, 14 injured in Oslo shooting near gay bar as city prepares for Pride parade
OSLO — Two people were killed and 14 injured early Saturday in a mass shooting in Oslo, Norwegian police said, as the city was gearing up for an annual Pride parade.
Police said a suspect had been arrested following the shootings, which occurred around 1:00 am (2300 GMT Friday) in three locations, including a gay bar, close together in the center of the Norwegian capital.
The shootings happened near the London Pub gay club, the Herr Nilsen jazz club and a takeaway food outlet.
Police said two weapons had been seized.
“Now everything indicates that there was only one person who committed this act,” police official Tore Barstad told a press briefing.
Police numbers had however been reinforced in the capital to deal with other incidents, he added, without wishing to specify whether it was a terrorist act.
Police received the first reports at 1:14 am and the suspect was arrested five minutes later, he said.
Police officials gathered to consider the impact of the shooting on the staging of Oslo’s Pride march which is due to take place on Saturday afternoon.
Heavily armed police equipped with bulletproof vests and helmets were patrolling the scene of the shootings.
“He looked very determined about where he was aiming. When I realized it was serious, I ran. There was a bleeding man lying on the ground,” a woman who saw the incident told the Verdens Gang newspaper.
Another witness quoted by the paper mentioned the use of an automatic weapon — which the police did not confirm — and described it as “a war zone.”
“There were a lot of injured people on the ground who had head injuries,” he said.
According to an NRK radio journalist present at the time of the shooting, the shooter arrived with a bag from which he pulled out a weapon and started firing.
Among the 14 wounded, eight were taken to hospital and six others were taken care of by a medical service.
“Some are described as seriously injured, others as more lightly injured,” said Barstad.
Generally peaceful Norway was the scene of bloody attacks on July 22, 2011 when right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people.
He first detonated a bomb near the government headquarters in Oslo, killing eight people.
He then disguised himself as a policeman and went on a shooting spree at a summer camp for left-wing youth on the island of Utoya, killing another 69 people — most of them teenagers.