Employees of a Maxbo building supply store in the small town of Notodden reportedly remained in shock on Monday after one of their colleagues stabbed and axed a regular customer to death during store hours on Saturday.
The defendant, a 22-year-old local man who was well-regarded by fellow workers at Maxbo, did not flee the scene and has acknowledged his crime to police. “This all happened so suddenly and has been a great shock,” Pirjo Vangsnes, personnel chief at the Maxbo, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Monday.
The murder took place inside an employee lounge, which regular Maxbo customers often visited. The victim was a 42-year-old carpenter in Notodden. None of the other employees were aware of any disagreement between the two.
Local newspaper Varden reported that the 22-year-old told police that the carpenter owed him money, but police don’t believe that’s the only or even main motive for the deadly attack. The declined to disclose what the 22-year-old has otherwise said under questioning and he since has been sent for psychiatric evaluation.
After attacking his victim in what emergency workers called a “gruesome” crime scene, the 22-year-old did not run away and instead joined colleagues who gathered outside the store and its warehouse. Firefighters arrived at the scene before police, which forced them to take charge and lead the young man away from others, keeping an eye on him until police arrived. He was described as calm and the local fire chief said he crew did not feel threatened, but it was a difficult situation for all involved.
There were many customers in the Maxbo when the murder took place. The store has since been closed and it was unclear when it would reopen.