Female artist is named as one of five people killed ‘by radicalized Muslim convert’ during Norwegian bow-and-arrow rampage – with witness telling how he heard ‘fearful and desperate shrieks of a person dying’
- Hanne Englund, a ceramic artist in her 50s, was left dying in a pool of her own blood outside her home
- Three other women and a man are also believed to have been killed in the bow and arrow attack in Norway
- Espen Andersen Bråthen, 37, has been named as the ‘terrorist’ who cops say was a radicalised Muslim convert
- Photo has emerged showing Bråthen speaking to officers outside his home in August last year, just yards from where he began last night’s bow and arrow attack which killed five people and left two more injured
- 2017 video also surfaced in which Bråthen calls himself ‘a messenger’ and says ‘bear witness that I am Muslim’
Hanne Englund has been named locally as one of the five people murdered by the Norwegian bow and arrow killer during his horrific ‘terror’ rampage
A female artist in her 50s has been named locally as one of the five people murdered by the Norwegian bow and arrow killer during his horrific ‘terror’ rampage.
Hanne Englund is believed to have been left dying in a pool of blood outsider her home in Kongsberg after she was targeted by the suspected radicalised Muslim convert Espen Andersen Bråthen, 37.
Three other women and a man are also thought to have been killed by Bråthen who was known to neighbours as a bad-tempered loner.
Three more were injured, including an off duty police officer, before the suspect was finally cornered by police after roaming the streets for more than 30 minutes, firing arrows at innocent passers-by.
Ceramic artist Mrs Englund worked from a studio attached to her home where she lived with her husband around 300 yards from the Coop supermarket in a town centre square where the attack began.
Optometry student Thomas Nilsen who lives nearby, told MailOnline: ‘I heard awful yelling and screaming while I was at home. It sounded like a couple quarrelling or fighting.
‘I shrugged it off at first, then I heard what I think was a single gunshot which must have been a warning shot from the police.
‘Five minutes later, I heard the sound of a lady yelling, like I had never heard before. It was just fearful and a sound of desperation. In my mind these were the shrieks of a person dying.
‘I sat inside and I didn’t dare go out because I didn’t know if there was a gun involved. Then there was complete silence so I went out and looked round the corner and saw five or six people including paramedics trying to revive this lady.’
Mr Nilsen said he was later told that the victim was Mrs Englund, and she had died from her injuries.
He added: ‘Twenty heavily armed police with machine guns came on the scene. Even the fire department was here, and there were two helicopters swirling around above. It was like Kabul.
‘Paramedics were working on the poor woman, and were yelling, “defibrillator” as they desperately tried to hold on to her life before she was taken away in an ambulance.
‘Later, I saw the huge pool of blood. I knew the lady so well. She was flamboyant, beautiful and warm hearted. She was like a butterfly. She had time for everyone. I only spoke to her yesterday morning, and now this happens. It is just horrendous.
‘The police were here all night looking around with searchlights and torches in case there were any more hurt people.’
It comes after it was earlier revealed that Bråthen was questioned by police outside his house a year ago – three years after uploading a warning video in which he called himself ‘a messenger’ and declared: ‘Bear witness that I am a Muslim’.
The artist was left dying in a pool of blood outsider her home in Kongsberg after she was targeted by the suspected radicalised Muslim convert
Optometry student Thomas Nilsen who lives nearby, told MailOnline he heard ‘awful yelling and screaming’ before the sound of a gunshot
Espen Andersen Bråthen, 37, has been identified as the man who killed five people during a bow and arrow rampage in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg on Wednesday night
Relatives left flowers and tributes were outside Hanne Englund’s gallery in Kongsberg, Norway, on Thursday after she was named as one of five killed in a bow and arrow attack in the town on Wednesday evening
Police gather outside Hanne Englund’s gallery in Kongsberg on Thursday after she was named by local media as one of the victims of a bow and arrow attack on Wednesday evening
Floral tributes were also laid at a second entrance to Hanne Englund’s gallery on Thursday after she was identified by local media as one victim of Wednesday evening’s bow and arrow attack
Kongsberg residents gathered around flowers and candles in the town’s centre on Thursday in tribute to five people killed during a murderous rampage on Wednesday night
A photograph, taken in August 2020 by a nervous neighbour, shows the future killer outside his Kongsberg home with two officers. It is unclear exactly what they were speaking about, thought the same month he was accused of breaching a restraining order taken out by his father who he had recently threatened to kill.
The picture emerged at the same time as an old YouTube video, which Bråthen uploaded to the site in 2017. In it, he delivers a screed that has been badly translated into English, in which he asks viewers ‘is this what you want?’, calls himself ‘a messenger’ and says: ‘I come with a warning’.
Bråthen is now in custody, where he has confessed to killing four women and one man, all aged between 50 and 70, during a half-hour attack on the town of Kongsberg shortly after 6pm Wednesday. Police say he is a Muslim convert who was flagged as radicalised, and described the attack as ‘a terrorist act’.
Bråthen began his attack with a bow and arrow outside a supermarket, but police have since revealed he used two other weapons during the half-hour assault – though they did not identify them. Some victims died in the street, prosecutors said, but others were killed in their homes.
Police have released few other details about Bråthen, but court documents and testimony from neighbours paint a bleak picture: An ‘unstable’ loner with a collection of weapons who rarely left his flat, hadn’t held a job in years, suffered from mental health problems, used drugs, and was estranged from his family.
Bråthen had lived alone for at least two years in a wooden boarded house just 200m from the Coop supermarket where he began his rampage. The house and its front garden including an area of wooden decking beside its door remained cordoned off with police tape today.
Property landlord Jam Simensen, 50, said he had been working on a house he owned opposite Brathen’s home and had seen him most days over the last month.
Mr Simsensen said: ‘It appeared like he didn’t want me there. When I was having a coffee and a cigarette, he would stare at me from his gate.
‘He used to come out and put something in the garbage bin, like a carton of milk or juice up to three times a day which was far more than normal. He never had any smile on his face and he was always staring. He didn’t have a friendly look. He was a big built fellow with short hair and would wear normal clothes. He was always alone.’
An image taken by one nervous neighbour in August 2020 shows Espen Andersen Bråthen on his doorstep – having gained weight and grown his hair since the 2017 YouTube video – speaking with two police officers
Well-wishers left floral tributes to Hanne Englund outside her gallery in Kongsberg, Norway, today after she was named as one of five victims of last night’s bow and arrows attack in the town
Kongsberg residents gathered and placed tributes in the town centre this evening after five people were killed and three more injured in a bow and arrows rampage in the town yesterday
Another neighbour who asked not to be named said he had heard that Brathen had recently had an angry confrontation with another couple living nearby after accusing them of making too much noise at a party.
Hakon Ruud, 14, who also lives opposite Brathen’s home, said: ‘I saw him around two months ago when he was puking up in the trash can outside his place.
‘He looked at me and I looked at him, but nothing was said.’
Hakon said he was eating a burger with friends at a takeaway in the town when Brathen started his rampage.
He said: ‘The owner told us that there was a guy on the loose with a bow and arrow, and he wanted us stay inside until it was safe.’
Hakon’s father Steffen Ruud, 49, said he was heading to a grocery store when he came across police officers who screamed at him: ‘Get away. It’s dangerous. Get Inside’.
Mr Ruud rushed to the takeaway to pick up his son, and they quickly returned home in time to see police swarming around Brathen’s house.
He said: ‘I saw officers with night vision cameras and drones. I think they broke down his door. I used to see him a few times. Some people have talked about him being strange or aggressive, but I didn’t notice that at all. When I saw him, he was always by himself. I never saw him do anything Islamic.’
Erik Benum, 24, who works in a café next to the Coop said: ‘I saw flashing lights as police cars arrived. Then I saw workers from the local store coming out and sheltering around the corner.
‘When I went out, people were talking about a guy with a bow and arrow who was firing towards people. One lady was almost shot as she was getting into her car. Then I saw the police with guns and a shield. At one stage, they were shouting to people in the plaza to seek shelter and stay away.’
Fire crews were seen hosing down the streets this afternoon to get rid of any blood stains from Brathen’s victims.
In other developments:
- Witnesses described hearing ‘women’s screams’ at the scene of the attack, adding: ‘It was a death cry’
- Bråthen is currently being questioned by police and is cooperating, though has not been formally charged
- Police say he has admitted being behind the attack, but has not yet entered a formal plea to criminal charges
- He is Danish citizen via his mother but has Norwegian father, was born in Norway, and lived there ‘all his life’
- Records suggest Bråthen has been out of work since the early 2000s. It is not clear what he did before then
- Forensic officers were working at an address close to the crime scene and have questioned local residents
- Bråthen will undergo psychological examination to determine whether he is fit to stand trial
Bråthen’s house, which is located close to the scene of the attack, had been sealed off by police today while neighbours described him as a man with a ‘bad vibe’ who used to practise swinging ‘clubs, sticks and batons’ in the garden
Police say the attack began around 6.12pm when they first received a call that people were being shot at with a bow and arrow outside a local supermarket (pictured, forensic officers at the scene today)
Police first made contact with the attacker at 6.18pm when they were also shot at, and lost sight of him. It took until 6.47pm for the man to be tracked down, when he surrendered after officers fired warning shots (pictured, the scene today)
Police say they have arrested a 37-year-old Danish man, who has admitted being the attacker. They say he is a convert to Islam and had been flagged for radicalism (pictured, arrows in a wall near the scene)
Police say the suspect was known to officers for ‘several different issues’ and had also ‘been in contact with… the health service several times’ (pictured, arrows at the scene of the attack)
The attack began at a Coop Extra supermarket on the west side of Kongsberg at 6.13pm as the man opened fire with a bow and arrow, then walked through the streets apparently firing at random. It ended half an hour later and 400 yards away as police confronted the man after he crossed the Numedalslågen river
Kongsberg is a small town in southern Norway that straddles the Numedalslågen river with a population of about 26,000. It is known as the home of the Royal Norwegian Mint, houses the headquarters of a major arms manufacturer, and serves as a satellite campus for the University of South-Eastern Norway
Anders Behring Breivik: Norway’s most-notorious terrorist
Anders Behring Breivik – who now goes by the name Fjotolf Hansen – is a far-right terrorist who killed 77 people during a gun and bomb attack on the Norwegian capital of Oslo and the island of Utøya in July 2011.
Breivik, then aged 32, began his attack by emailing a manifesto to more than 1,000 people including politicians and journalists outlining his far-right ideology – including the belief that Muslims are ‘colonising’ Europe and should be deported, and that feminism represents a kind of ‘cultural suicide’.
After sending the email, he drove a white van containing a 2,000lb bomb to the offices of the Norwegian government and parked it outside around 3.15pm.
Ten minutes later the bomb exploded, killing eight people – six women and two men – and injuring more than 200, with 12 seriously hurt.
Police rushed to the scene, cordoned it off, and began hunting for the attacker – though Breivik had already left the city in another vehicle and was driving towards Utøya island, some 20 miles to the north.
Dressed as a policeman and carrying a fake ID, Breivik took a ferry from the mainland to the island and arrived at 5.17pm carrying a case of weapons including a Glock handgun and Ruger semiautomatic rifle.
He then made his way to where a summer camp for the Workers’ Youth League – affiliated with the left-wing Labour Party who were then in power – was taking place.
He opened fire on the camp at 5.21pm.
Over the course of the next hour, Breivik shot dead 67 people – most of whom died from gunshots to the head – and wounded another 32. One person died falling from a cliff as they tried to escape the massacre, and another died trying to swim away.
Police arrested Breivik at 6.34pm without resistance.
Of those killed on the island, a majority were teenagers and the two youngest victims were aged 14. Taken together, the attacks represented the deadliest in Norway since the Second World War.
Among the dead were friends of then-Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and the stepbrother of Norway’s crown princess Mette-Marit.
Breivik went on trial in April the following year, entering the courtroom while giving a now-infamous one-fisted salute – an echo of the Nazi salute which he would use at later court appearances.
He admitted to being the one who carried out the attacks and said he did it to promote his manifesto, but pleaded not guilty – arguing that he was acting in ‘self-defence’ and did not recognise the court’s authority.
In August, Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in jail for the massacre with the possibility of extending the term if he is still deemed a ‘threat to society’ – the maximum sentence that can be imposed under Norwegian law.
That sparked a debate about whether Norway’s legal system – created in the wake of Nazi occupation – is too lenient, and the conditions in which Breivik is kept has continued to be a source of debate ever since.
Initial controversies included his access to a gym and video games, while another debate erupted in 2015 when was allowed to enroll on political science at the University of Oslo.
Bråthen has a lengthy criminal history, including an incident in May last year in which he went to his father’s house and threatened to kill him while carrying a handgun, which he then left behind on the sofa.
He subsequently had a restraining order taken out against him, which he breached in August.
Meanwhile, a former neighbour told Norwegian outlet VG that the man had a ‘bad vibe’ and used to practise fencing in his garden using ‘clubs, sticks and batons’.
‘There was no elegance in the fencing, he fenced with brutality. He was always alone. From the kitchen window I could look into his apartment. It was very messy… I got a bad feeling,’ the neighbour said.
An image taken by one nervous neighbour in August 2020 shows Bråthen on his doorstep – having gained weight and grown his hair since the 2017 video – speaking with two police.
The neighbour added that, in June last year, police came to the man’s house wearing shields and helmets and ordered him to come out. Officers then handcuffed him and took him away.
Then, in August, the neighbour saw the man talking to police outside his house for ‘a long time’ before they left. It is thought that this incident relates to his alleged breach of bail.
Ole Bredrup Sæverud, chief of police for south-east Norway, said officers were first called about the attack at 6.12pm Wednesday after locals near a Coop Extra market were shot at with a bow and arrow.
Four armed squads were sent to the area and officers first made contact with the man at 6.18pm. He briefly disappeared, then reemerged and fired arrows at them. While taking cover from the arrows, the man escaped.
Officers fanned out to search for him as 18 other squads arrived on the scene, but did not catch up to him until 6.47pm. It is thought that he killed all his victims – four women and one man, aged between 50 and 70 – during this time window.
Police have not identified any of the victims, though they say relatives have been informed. They have also not said how the victims died, though have confirmed that more than one weapon was used in the attack.
It is not clear how many weapons were used in total, or what kind of weapons they were. Three people were also injured in the attack, though it is not clear exactly how or when they were hurt.
Their injuries are not life threatening, police have said.
The attack began in a Coop Extra supermarket on the west side of Kongsberg at 6.12pm Wednesday, with armed police immediately dispatched to the scene.
Three more police patrols were then dispatched, with another 18 put on patrol. Additional officers were called for, but had not arrived by the time the man was arrested.
A total of 29 ambulances and three air ambulances were also sent to the city. In addition, a rescue helicopter was sent from the municipality of Rygge-Moss, around 45 mile away.
Police first spotted the man at 6.18pm. He vanished for a moment, but then reappeared and fired arrows at officers. While sheltering from the arrows, the man managed to escape again.
Squads of police spread out and combed the nearby streets, but did not make contact with the man again until 6.47pm when they fired warning shots and he surrendered.
Norway’s outgoing Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg called the attack ‘shocking’ and ‘gruesome’ in a press conference late on Wednesday. ‘I understand that many people are afraid, but it’s important to emphasise that the police are now in control,’ she said.
Labour party leader Jonas Gahr Store, who is due to become prime minister today after an election last month, described the killings as ‘cruel and brutal’ and said his thoughts were with ‘those affected, their families, and with the police, the health workers who are now working full time to assist those who need help.’
Following the attacks, the Norwegian police command said it had immediately ordered officers nationwide to carry firearms. Norwegian police are normally unarmed but officers have access to guns and rifles when needed.
Official’s said Wednesday’s rampage was the deadliest attack in Norway in a decade, since far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in twin attacks on July 22, 2011.
Breivik first set off a bomb in the capital Oslo next to the building that housed the office of the prime minister, then went on a shooting spree at a summer camp for left-wing youths on the island of Utoya.
A witness told TV2 she had heard a commotion and seen people running for cover before catching side of a ‘man standing on the corner with arrows in a quiver on his shoulder and a bow in his hand,’ AFP reported.
‘Afterwards, I saw people running for their lives. One of them was a woman holding a child by the hand,’ she added.
Another witness tweeted: ‘There is a guy with bow and arrow shooting at people just outside my apartment wtf. Police and multiple helicopters are here.’
Sarkis Younan, a student who lives next to the Coop Extra store, told local media: ‘I was sitting and watching Squid Game when I suddenly saw and heard sirens. I thought it was in the TV series. Suddenly I heard the police screaming like hell: ‘Put down your weapon”.’
Officers have cordoned large areas of the town, a municipality of around 28,000 people in southeastern Norway, 82km (51 miles) from Oslo, and urged the public to stay home. Police said there were several crime scenes.
Television footage showed ambulances, armed police, a helicopter, and bomb disposal team in the area.
Police tape was outside what’s is believed to be the home of Espen Andersen Brathen in Kongsberg. He was arrested on Wednesday evening over a bow and arrow rampage that left five dead and two injured in the southern Norwegian town
Police arrested Espen Andersen Brathen over 30 minutes after he opened fire on Kongsberg residents with a bow and arrow on Wednesday evening
Police knock ‘door to door’ near the home of Espen Andersen Brathen as they investigate a bow and arrow attack that killed five people and injured two more on Wednesday evening
Kongsberg residents gathered in the town centre on Thursday as they paid tribute to the five people killed and two injured in a bow and arrows rampage on Wednesday evening
Kongsberg residents on Thursday laid floral tributes, teddy bears, and laid candles in honour of five people killed during a bow and arrows rampage in the town on Wednesday evening
Flowers and candles are placed at a memorial in Kongsberg town centre after a man killed several people on Wednesday evening
Kongsberg residents paid tribute to five people killed in a bow and arrows rampage on Wednesday evening by laying flowers and tributes outside the gallery of Hanne Englund, named locally as one of the victims
Wednesday evening’s attack started at 6:12pm at the town’s Coop Extra supermarket after a male suspect opened fire on shoppers with a bow and arrows
Members of the police work as the investigation continues after a deadly attack in Kongsberg, Norway, on Wednesday evening
Police have cordoned off the multiple crimes scenes where a bow and arrows shooter killed five people in a rampage on Wednesday evening
Police seen at one of the sites where a man killed several people in a bow and arrows rampage in Kongsberg, Norway, on Wednesday evening
Ole Bredrup Sæverud, chief of police, speaks to journalists on Thursday – revealing that the bow and arrow attacker killed five people after being confronted by police and escaping
Did the Kongsberg attacker use a bow and arrow due to Norway’s strict gun laws?
In a word: No.
Despite having a strong culture of hunting, Norway has extremely strict weapons laws.
Guns are allowed under tight restrictions, but bows, crossbows and arrows are banned.
Bows and crossbows are outlawed under the 1981 Game Act which states that all weapons used in sport must be ‘loaded with gunpowder’, while arrows are banned under the Penal Code which states that carrying a ‘sharp tool in a public place that is suitable for inflicting bodily harm’ is illegal. The punishment is one year in jail.
The hunting ban was enacted largely due to concerns voiced by animal activists that bows are cruel and take a long time to kill prey.
MailOnline has been unable to establish whether a bow could be kept at home as a collector’s piece.
Norway does have a Bow Hunter’s Association, but it is not active and is actually a campaign group which is trying to get the law changed.
Guns are permitted in Norway, though only for hunting or sport shooting, and even then owners must take part in mandatory safety courses, pass written exams, register with the state and be assessed by police.
All guns must be kept in locked cabinets, which officers can inspect with 48 hours’ notice.
No more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition can be stored and must be kept away from weapons.
Pistols are banned except for range shooting – with all owners having to prove they are an active range user – while fully automatic weapons are totally banned.
The TV2 station reported that the man also had a knife or other weapons. And the website of public broadcaster NRK published an image sent by a witness of a black arrow sticking out of a wall.
‘We can unfortunately confirm that there are several injured and also unfortunately several killed in this episode,’ Aas told a news conference. ‘The man who committed this act has been arrested by the police and, according to our information, there is only one person involved.’
‘There is no active search for other people,’ Aas said. Police said it was ‘natural’ to probe terrorism as a possible motive.
Police are understood to be interviewing several witnesses and visited an address in Kongsberg late on Wednesday.
Unni Grøndal, Oslo police spokesperson: ‘We are helping with national assistance resources such as police helicopters, bomb squads, and crews from the Emergency Response Troop.’
At least eight ambulances and three air ambulances were seen at the scene with the wounded taken to hospital.
It was not immediately clear where the wounded were taken but Oslo University Hospital was put on standby to receive victims.
Mayor Kari Anne Sand told VG newspaper: ‘It is a tragedy for all those affected. I have no words. This is a shocking event that we did not think could happen in Norway.’
Following the attacks, the police directorate said it had immediately ordered officers nationwide to carry firearms. Norwegian police are normally unarmed but officers have access to guns and rifles when needed.
‘This is an extra precaution. The police have no indication so far that there is a change in the national threat level,’ the directorate said in a statement.
Norway’s minister of justice and public security, Monica Maeland, has received updates on the attacks and was closely monitoring the situation, the ministry said.
City officials invited people who were affected by the attack and their relatives to gather for support at a local hotel.
New Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, who is set to take up the position today, said: ‘What we have heard from Kongsberg tonight testifies that a cruel and brutal act has been committed. We still know little about what happened and what is behind it, but we know that several innocent people were killed and that several were injured.
‘My thoughts and deepest sympathy are with those affected, their families, and with the police, the health workers who are now working full time to assist those who need help.’
Former Norwegian MP Laila Gustavsen, who lives in Kongsberg, said: ‘That something like this can happen in a quiet small town like ours is unreal.’
Head of Norway’s Socialist Left Party Audun Bjorlo Lysbakken said: ‘I feel profound sadness that such cruel acts of violence could hit the inhabitants of a peaceful Norwegian town.’
While Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said: ‘Terrible attack in Norway tonight. My thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones.’
Norway has traditionally been a peaceful nation but has suffered far-right attacks.
Right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik carried out twin attacks that killed 77 people on July 22, 2011.
Breivik first set off a bomb in the capital Oslo next to the building that housed the office of the prime minister, then went on a shooting spree at a summer camp for left-wing youths on the island of Utoya.
Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in prison, the maximum under Norwegian law, but his term can be extended as long as he’s considered a danger to society.
In August 2019, self-proclaimed neo-Nazi Philip Manshaus opened fire into a mosque on the outskirts of Oslo before being overpowered by worshippers, with no one being seriously injured.
However, he had earlier shot dead his step-sister, who had been adopted from China, in what prosecutors termed a ‘racist act’.
Several planned jihadist attacks have also been foiled by security services.
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