Five people were killed and three injured in a bow-and-arrow attack in a quiet Norwegian town this week, the suspect is facing a custodial trial on Friday. He will not appear in court because he has confessed to the murders and has agreed to be kept in custody.
Aspen Andersen Brathen, a 37-year-old Danish national, was arrested on Wednesday night, 30 minutes after a deadly stampede targeted random people. Police have termed the attack as a terrorist act.
People were laying flowers and lighting candles on Friday in a central square in Kongsberg, a city of 26,000 people surrounded by mountains and forest, some 66 kilometers south-west of Oslo.
“It’s a small community, so almost everyone knows each other, so it’s a very strange and very sad experience for us,” said teacher Ingeborg Spangelo, who immediately brought her students to the memorial. “It’s almost real or unreal.”
Norwegian news media reported Friday that Andersen Brathen was handed over to medical officials, who said he would be seen and assessed by two experts who would try to clarify whether he was sane at the time of the attack. If they conclude that he was not sane, he may not be punished for the acts, but may be sentenced to compulsory mental health care.
Regional prosecutor Ann Irene Sven Mathiasen told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that the decision of his move was an assessment of his health condition. He did not elaborate.
Authorities said Anderson Brathen used a bow and arrow and possibly other weapons to randomly target people at a supermarket in Kongsberg and other places where he lived.
Police said four women and one man, aged between 50 and 70, were killed and three others were injured.
Police said they believe he acted alone. Norway’s domestic security service PST said the attack “appears to be an act of terror,” but did not elaborate. It stated that Anderson Brathen was known to PST, but, again, declined to elaborate.
Police described the suspect as a Muslim convert and said there were “previously concerns about the man being radicalized,” but they did not elaborate or explain why he was flagged earlier or how authorities reacted. do does did.
According to Norwegian media, Andersen Brathen has been convicted of theft and drug possession, and last year a court ordered him to stay away from his parents for six months after threatening to kill one of them. A restraining order was given.