A Danish man who killed five people and injured two others with a bow and arrow in a series of attacks in a town in Norway on Wednesday was placed under investigation for suspected terrorism.
“We are investigating this, among other things, to clarify whether it is an act of terrorism,” regional police chief Ole Bredrup Saeverud said at a Thursday morning press conference. “It will probably take some time before it can be finally clarified.”
“The assessment related to motive is a bit complicated. But it is natural to go back and see what information we have on the person from earlier, and then we see that there has been a concern related to radicalization in the past, which we think it is natural to be open about without being able to explain the details of it now,” he added.
Five people were killed in the Oct. 13 attack—four women and one man between the ages of 50 and 70—in Kongsberg, a small town of about 28,000 people southwest of Oslo. The motive for the attack has not yet been determined.
Both the injured victims are hospitalized in intensive care. They include an off-duty police officer who was inside a supermarket, one of the locations of the Wednesday rampage. Their condition was not immediately known.
Police said the suspect, a 37-year-old Danish national whose name is currently unclear, is a Muslim convert who was previously flagged as having been radicalized. Norway’s national security agency said his actions “currently appear to be an act of terrorism.”
The man was first confronted by police officers at about 18:15 local time, but he managed to escape. He was eventually arrested about 30 minutes later.
Saeverud said investigators believe that the suspect started the series of murders after he managed to escape police, explaining that the victims were likely killed between being first approached and being arrested about 30 minutes later.
“From what we know now, it is reasonably clear that some, probably everyone, was killed after the police were in contact with the perpetrator,” the police chief said.
Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg said at a news conference the attacks “coming from Kongsberg tonight are horrifying.”
“I understand that many people are afraid, but it’s important to emphasize that the police are now in control,” she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.