OSLO, Norway – Two people were killed and at least 14 injured early Saturday morning in downtown Oslo when a gunman opened fire outside two nightclubs and a restaurant, a police official said .
A male suspect was apprehended five minutes after the shooting was announced, Oslo police said on Twitter. Tore Barstad, a police operations chief who spoke to reporters about the incident, did not identify the suspect or speculate on a motive.
One of the two clubs, the London Pub, is a center of gay nightlife in Oslo. The city’s annual Pride Parade is due to take place on Saturday, and it normally marks a festive start to summer.
Olav Rønneberg, a crime reporter for Norwegian public broadcaster NRK, was in the area when the violence began. “I saw a man come to the scene with a bag, he took a gun and started shooting,” he told the outlet.
Shootings are extremely rare in Norway, a country of five million people whose capital sits beside a scenic fjord.
Norway suffered its deadliest attack since World War II in 2011, when a Norwegian terrorist detonated a fertilizer bomb in downtown Oslo, killing eight people. He then killed 69 people, mostly teenagers, in a shooting at a political summer camp.
The terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, was sentenced to 21 years in prison for the attacks, the maximum sentence under Norwegian law. He was denied parole in February by a Norwegian court which said he “appeared to lack empathy and compassion for the victims of terror”.
Over the past decade, the country has had to reckon with the trauma of the massacre. People who live near the island where it happened are at odds over the construction of a permanent public memorial in a nearby port. Families of the victims support him, but some locals have said the memorial risks turning the area into a tourist destination for the tragedies.
Mike Ives contributed reporting from Seoul.