Three dead in Asker shootings

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Two women were killed Monday afternoon by a man who police said fired several shots near a boathouse on an affluent residential island in Asker, west of Oslo. He then fled, setting off a major manhunt.

Police later found the gunman dead, an apparent suicide.

The shootings occurred in broad daylight with several persons witness to the drama on the otherwise idyllic island of Nesøya. The island is known for its expensive homes and sought-after waterfront properties.

The assailant used a weapon believed to be a rifle, killing a 59-year-old woman and a younger woman. Police later confirmed that the victims were the gunman’s ex-wife and her daughter. The couple had undergone a bitter divorce and police had been called to their home on earlier occasions of domestic violence.

As many as 20 police officers surrounded the murder scene on Monday after witnesses called for help, and patrol cars quickly blocked the only bridge on and off the island. “I heard six shots, first two rapid shots, and then four more,” one local resident told website VG.no. “After the first two shots, I heard a woman’s scream.”

Police described the incident as “very dramatic,” noting that passersby could have been injured or killed. They ordered all in the area to seek safety while they searched for the assailant, warning residents that an armed man was on the loose.

Police declined to say where they found the body of the man, who apparently took his own life. A crisis team was set up at nearby Bærum Hospital to assist anyone seeking help after the shootings.

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