2 killed in mass shooting in Norway; more than a dozen hurt
Oslo(Norway)- Two people were killed and more than a dozen injured early Saturday in a mass shooting in Norway capital, Oslo, police said, as the city was gearing up for an annual Pride parade.
The shooting happened outside a downtown Oslo bar that is popular among the city’s LGBTQ community, witnesses and local media said.
A suspect was arrested and police don’t believe any other people were involved, police spokesman Tore Barstad said.
Barstad said the motive was not immediately known and it wasn’t clear whether the shooting had any connection to the Pride parade that was to be held Saturday in Oslo.
“Police are in contact with the organizers of the Pride event this Saturday. There will be a continuous assessment of what measures police should take to protect that event and whether this incident has a connection to Pride at all,” Barstad told reporters.
He said 14 people were receiving medical treatment, eight of whom have been hospitalized.
Olav Roenneberg, a journalist from Norwegian public broadcaster NRK, said he witnessed the shooting.
“I saw a man arrive at the site with a bag. He picked up a weapon and started shooting,” Roenneberg told NRK. “First I thought it was an air gun. Then the glass of the bar next door was shattered and I understood I had to run for cover.”
Norwegian media said the shots were fired outside the London Pub, which describes itself as the most popular gay bar in Oslo since it opened in 1979.
“The shooting outside London Pub in Oslo tonight was a cruel and deeply shocking attack on innocent people,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said in a Facebook post.
He said that while the motive was unclear, the shooting had caused fear and grief in the LGBTQ community.
“We all stand by you,” Gahr Stoere wrote.
Christian Bredeli, who was at the bar, told Norwegian newspaper VG that he hid on the fourth floor with a group of about 10 people until he was told it was safe to come out.
“Many were fearing for their lives,” he said. “On our way out we saw several injured people, so we understood that something serious had happened.”
Norwegian broadcaster TV2 showed footage of people running down Oslo streets in panic as shots rang out in the background.
Oslo Pride organizers said they were in close contact with the police.
“We are shocked and saddened by the tragic incident, and we are following it closely,” Oslo Pride said in a Facebook statement. “Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones.”
Norway is a relatively safe country but has experienced violent attacks by right-wing extremists, including one of the worst mass shootings in Europe in 2011, when a gunman killed 69 people on the island of Utoya after setting off a bomb in Oslo that left eight dead.
In 2019, another right-wing extremist killed his stepsister and then opened fire in a mosque but was overpowered before anyone there was injured.