OSLO (REUTERS) – Two people were killed and 14 wounded on Saturday (June 25) in a shooting at a nightclub and in nearby streets in Norway’s capital Oslo.
A suspect believed to be the sole perpetrator was apprehended.
The crime scene extended from the London Pub via a neighbouring club and onwards to a nearby street where the suspect was apprehended a few minutes after the shooting began, police spokesman Tore Barstad told the newspaper Aftenposten.
The London Pub is a popular gay bar and nightclub in the centre of Oslo.
“I saw a man arrive with a bag. He picked up a gun and started to shoot,” journalist Olav Roenneberg of public broadcaster NRK reported.
It was not immediately clear what was the motive for the attack.
Oslo is due to hold its annual Pride parade later on Saturday.
“Two people are confirmed dead,” the Oslo police department said in a tweet.
Some 14 people were taken to a hospital, several with severe injuries, police said.
Photographs published by newspaper VG, broadcaster NRK and others showed a large gathering of emergency responders outside the London Pub, including police and ambulance workers.
Helicopters hovered above central Oslo while ambulance and police car sirens were heard across the city. Oslo’s university hospital said it had gone on red alert following the shooting.
Shootings are exceedingly rare in Norway, a country of 5 million people whose capital lies beside a picturesque fjord.
Gun owners must be licensed and take safety classes, and a ban on semi-automatic weapons enacted by the Norwegian Parliament – a response to a 2011 attack by a far-right gunman that killed 77 people – took effect last year.
The 2011 attack started when the gunman, Anders Behring Breivik, detonated a fertiliser bomb in downtown Oslo, killing eight people.
He then killed 69 people, mostly teenagers, in a shooting rampage at a political summer camp.
Breivik received a 21-year sentence for the attacks, the maximum under Norwegian law. He was denied parole in February by a Norwegian court that said he “appeared devoid of empathy and compassion for the victims of the terror”.