A detention hearing for the suspect in a bow-and-arrow assault that killed five people and injured three more in a peaceful Norwegian village this week is set for Friday. He has confessed to the crimes and consented to be remanded in jail, so he will not appear in court.
Espen Andersen Braathen, a 37-year-old Danish citizen, was apprehended 30 minutes after starting his murderous spree targeting random individuals on Wednesday night. The incident was classified by police as a terror strike.
Inhabitants laid flowers and lit candles at a major plaza in Kongsberg, a town of 26,000 people surrounded by mountains and woodlands 66 kilometers (41 miles) southwest of Oslo.
“Because we live in such a tiny village, practically everyone knows one other, it’s an unusual and terrible experience for us,” said teacher Ingeborg Spangelo, who accompanied her pupils to the impromptu tribute. “It’s almost strange or unreal,” says the narrator.
Andersen Braathen was handed over to medical authorities on Friday, according to Norwegian news sources, who said he will be watched and evaluated by two specialists to determine whether he was sane at the time of the incident. If they determine that he is not sane, he cannot be penalized for his actions, but he can be sentenced to mental health treatment.
The decision to relocate him was based on “an evaluation of his health status,” regional prosecutor Ann Iren Svane Mathiassen said Norwegian television NRK. She didn’t go into detail.
Andersen Braathen, who resided in Kongsberg, used a bow and arrow and perhaps other weapons to attack individuals at random in a supermarket and other areas.
According to authorities, four ladies and a male between the ages of 50 and 70 were murdered, while three others were injured.
He acted alone, according to police. The incident “appears to be an act of terror,” according to PST, Norway’s internal security department. The PST was aware of Andersen Braathen, according to the statement, but it declined to comment.
Police characterized the suspect as a Muslim convert and said there had been “previous concerns about the guy being radicalized,” but officials did not explain or indicate why he had been alerted or what they did in response.
Andersen Braathen has been convicted of burglary and drug possession, according to Norwegian media, and a judge ordered him to keep away from his parents for six months last year after threatening to murder one of them.
Jonas Gahr Stoere, Norway’s new prime minister, and Emilie Enger Mehl, Norway’s justice minister, were due in Kongsberg later Friday.