Kongsberg, Norway – A man accused of killing five people and injuring two others with a bow and arrow in the small Scandinavian town of Kongsberg has admitted to rampaging, his defense lawyer said in an interview on Friday.
Espen Andersen Brathen, 37, a Danish citizen and locally converted to Islam, “admits to having committed the acts he has been accused of,” said his lawyer Fredrik Neumann, a mental health assessment of his client. Also running was “doctors and health workers.”
Mr Brathen, who has been charged with murder, has yet to plead in the case, despite admitting to the crime. After a court hearing on Friday, his custody was extended as investigators continued to assemble their case, following a gruesome murder spree earlier this week that sparked fear in a city of 27,000 people and across the country. shook the country.
Authorities say Mr Brathen was arrested Wednesday evening after he entered a Coop Extra supermarket in Kongsberg and began shooting arrows at shoppers with a hunting bow. He then stormed the streets, evading police at one point and shooting arrows in several directions, killing a total of five people and injuring two others.
Officials have said the attack was the hallmark of “an act of terror”. Mr Brathen had converted to Islam, but police have yet to offer a motive for the attack. They are also investigating past incidents in which Mr. Brathen displayed violent tendencies.
Last year, the suspect was given a six-month restraining order at the request of his parents. According to court records, his parents called the police after Mr Brathen refused to leave their home, threatened to kill his father and left a Colt revolver on his couch. Mr Brathen had previously been convicted of theft and drug possession.
“We are all shocked by what happened,” Kongsberg Mayor Anne Sand told a news conference on Friday. “This is a sad event, and as a society we have to carry it with us for many years.”
Norway’s new prime minister, Jonas Gahr Store, who took office on Thursday, is expected to visit the city soon.
In the city center on Friday morning, residents milled around a memorial of candles and flowers in memory of the victims. A 75-year-old woman, who could not be identified, described the killings as a tragedy and questioned whether Mr Brathen had fallen through the cracks of the local mental health system.