A strange attack in Norway left five people dead, including ceramics artist Hanne Englund, who was hit by a bow and arrow. Espen Andersen Brathen, a 37-year-old Danish citizen, carried out the bizarre assault, which authorities have labeled as an act of terrorism.
Hanne Englund was outside her home studio when the killer continued his rampage that began at a Coop supermarket in the town of Kongsberg, roughly 40 miles southwest of Oslo, Norway. Struck by a bow and arrow, she reportedly died screaming in the bloody attack.
Three other women, and one man, also lost their lives, with three others injured. Hanne Englund was reported to be in her 50s when she was killed.
Thomas Nilsen, a neighbor and optometry student living in the area, told The Daily Mail that he heard “awful yelling and screaming,” but was safe inside his home.
Initially shrugging it off as a domestic quarrel, Nilsen said he later heard what “must have been a warning shot from the police,” followed by “the sound of a lady yelling like I had never heard before.”
“It was just fearful and a sound of desperation,” he said. “In my mind these were the shrieks of a person dying.”
After he felt like the scene was safe and silent, he went outside and “looked around the corner,” where he saw “five or six people including paramedics trying to revive this lady.”
The woman was ceramics artist Hanne Englund, who was hit by an arrow during the Norway rampage.
“Paramedics were working on the poor woman, and were yelling, ‘Defibrillator!’ as they desperately tried to hold onto her life before she was taken away in an ambulance,” eyewitness Thomas Nilsen told The Daily Mail. “Later, I saw the huge pool of blood.”
Nilsen said that he knew Hanne Englund very well, and that she was very “flamboyant, beautiful, and warm-hearted.”
“She was like a butterfly,” he said. “She had time for everyone. I only spoke to her yesterday morning, and now this happens. It is just horrendous.”
Authorities in Norway are currently trying to figure out what happened that led Espen Anderson Brathen to carry out the strange killings, though they revealed that he had been on their radar for quite some time despite showing no signs of danger within the last year.
Officers were in contact with Brathen “as a result of previous concerns related to radicalization,” after he converted to Islam.
“It is natural to consider if it is a terror event,” said Assistant Police Chief Oyvind Aas, but that it was “too soon to say for sure what the man’s motivation is.”
In a since-deleted video flagged by police, Brathen reportedly announced that he had converted to Islam, with the message “I come with a warning. Is this really what you want? And for all who want to make up for themselves, so it’s time.”
Jonas Gahr Store, who became the new Prime Minister on Thursday, will visit the location, according to CNN, where he will speak with the victims’ families.
“The perpetrator has carried out horrific acts against several people. It is a very dramatic situation that has hit Kongsberg society hard, and the events shake us all,” said his predecessor, Erna Solberg. The attacks occurred just hours before her tenure as Prime Minister was handed over to Jonas Store.
Norway’s King, Harad V, who has ruled since 1991, stated that, “We sympathize with the relatives and injured in the grief and despair.”
“We think of all those affected in Kongsberg who have experienced that their safe local environment suddenly became a dangerous place,” he said. “It shakes us all when horrible things happen near us, when you least expect it, in the middle of everyday life on the open street.”