When a guy attacked them with a bow and arrow in Norway, four ladies and a man were killed and two more were injured.
At 18:12 local time, police got news of an attack in the town of Kongsberg, south-west of Oslo (16:12 GMT).
A 37-year-old Danish guy was detained and questioned for hours overnight.
Police claimed they had previously spoken with him about their concerns about him being radicalized after converting to Islam.
The fatalities were all between the ages of 50 and 70, according to Police Chief Ole Bredrup Saeverud, who spoke at a press conference on Thursday morning.
He believes they were slain shortly after the cops engaged the assailant at 18:18.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg described the event as “horrifying” only hours before she was to leave office.
“I realize that many people are scared,” she added, “but it’s critical to stress that the police are now in command.”
The attack took place inside a Coop Extra store on Kongsberg’s west side, according to reports. An off-duty police officer who was at the shop at the time was among those injured.
A spokesman for the business subsequently acknowledged that there had been a “major incident” at their location, but that none of their employees had been hurt.
Local police commander Oyvind Aas stated that the assailant eluded police after a first encounter before being apprehended at 18:47 local time, 35 minutes after the incident began.
Witnesses informed local television station TV2 that they heard a disturbance and saw a lady fleeing, followed by a “guy standing on the corner with arrows in a quiver on his shoulder and a bow in his hand.”
“Following that, I witnessed people fleeing for their lives. One of them was a mother who was holding the hand of a youngster “she said.
The assailant also used additional weapons during the event, police informed the Norwegian news agency NTB, without specifying what they were.
Authorities blocked off many areas of town as the suspect moved across a broad area. Authorities urged residents to remain indoors as they investigated the site and gathered evidence. Sniffer dogs were used to search the surrounding gardens and garages.
The incident was the bloodiest in Norway since far-right fanatic Anders Behring Breivik massacred 77 people, the majority of them were youngsters attending a Labour Party summer camp on the island of Utoya in July 2011.
A Devastating Attack
Mayor Kari Anne Sand of Kongsberg said it was a terrible incident that occurred in a residential neighborhood, and that a crisis team will assist anybody affected.
Ms Sand described the hamlet as “a totally regular place with completely ordinary people,” adding that “this really sad incident” had left everyone terribly disturbed.
The suspect was transported to a police station in Drammen, where his lawyer, Fredrik Neumann, claimed he was interrogated for almost three hours and was cooperating with investigators.
He went on to say that the suspect’s mother is Danish and his father is Norwegian.
Norway’s Justice Minister Monica Maeland told reporters that police were still unsure if the incident was a terrorist attack and that she couldn’t comment on new information about the suspect.
The guy had resided in Kongsberg for some years and was known to police, according to police prosecutor Ann Irén Svane Mathiassen.
The attack occurred on the last day of Erna Solberg’s conservative administration, and the case will be handed over to a new justice minister on Thursday as part of a centre-left coalition formed by Labour leader Jonas Gahr Store.
It was a “gruesome and violent act,” according to Mr Store.
As a precaution, Norway’s police directorate has ordered that all officers carry guns across the country. In most cases, police officers in the nation are unarmed.
“The police have received no evidence that the national danger level has changed,” the directorate stated in a statement (in Norwegian).