crimes

Kongsberg, Norway’s Espen Andersen Braathen fires arrows at supermarket shoppers

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Armed with a bow, Espen Andersen Braathen, 37, fired arrows at shoppers inside a Coop Extra supermarket in Kongsberg, Lower Buskerud, Viken, Norway on October 13, 2021. Four women and one man aged 50 to 70 were killed.

Also injured were two other people, an officer-duty police officer and a civilian. They incurred non-life-threatening injuries and are both recovering in hospital.

Espen Andersen Braathen
Espen Andersen Braathen

The first call alerting police to the attack was at 6:12 p.m. Officers confronted Braathen at 6:18 p.m. and arrested him at 6:47 p.m.

Police believe that the suspect acted alone. He will appear before a judge on October 15, 2021.

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Represented by defense lawyer Fredrik Neumann, Braathen was questioned for more than three hours overnight at a police station in Drammen, Buskerud, Viken. Police have yet to disclose the charges he is facing.

Before the attack, police were in contact with Braathen over concerns about radicalization. He had converted to Islam.

According to regional police chief Ole Bredrup Saeverud, the last time concerns about Braathens radicalization had been brought to the police’s attention was in 2020. In 2021, the authorities received no reports about radicalization so he did not appear on their radar.

Braathen is a resident of Kongsberg who holds a Danish citizenship. His father is Norwegian while his mother is Danish.

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In 1624, Danish-Norwegian king Christian IV founded Kongsberg as a mining community. The town became part of Buskerud in 1760 and became a municipality on January 1, 1838.

Several athletes were born in Kongsberg including snowboarder Silje Norendal and footballer Magnus Sylling Olsen. Among the town’s sister cities are Chitose, Japan and Gouda, Netherlands.

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