Arrow Assault Suspect in Norway Faces Detention Trial

The suspect in this week’s arrow attack that killed five people and injured three in a Norwegian city faces trial over his detention Friday. He did not appear in court because he had confessed to the murder and had agreed to be put into custody.

Espen Andersen Braathen, a 37-year-old Danish citizen, was detained Wednesday night (13/10), 30 minutes after starting a deadly attack targeting random victims. Police called the attack an act of terror.

On the main square in Kongsberg, a city of 26,000 people surrounded by mountains and forest about 66 kilometers southwest of Oslo, people laid flowers and lit candles on Friday.

Flowers and candles are placed at a memorial after a man killed several people on Wednesday afternoon, in Kongsberg, Norway, Thursday, October 14, 2021.

Flowers and candles are placed at a memorial after a man killed several people on Wednesday afternoon, in Kongsberg, Norway, Thursday, October 14, 2021.

“It’s a small community so almost everyone knows other people. So it was a very strange and very sad experience for us,” said Ingeborg Spangelo, a teacher who brought his students to the impromptu memorial service.

Andersen Braathen was handed over to medical authorities, Norwegian news media said Friday. He will be observed and evaluated by two experts who will try to clarify whether he was sane during the attack. If they conclude that he is insane, he will not be punished for his actions, but he can be punished with mandatory mental health treatment.

Regional prosecutor Ann Iren Svane Mathiassen told Norwegian broadcasters NRK that the decision about it is related to an evaluation of his health situation. He did not elaborate further.

Andersen Braathen used a bow and arrow and possibly other weapons to randomly target people in a supermarket and other locations in Kongsberg, where he lives.

Four women and a man aged between 50 and 70 were killed, and three others were injured, police said.

Police believe he acted alone. [uh/ab]

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