Another police officer killed on duty

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A veteran police officer in the northern Norwegian city of Mo i Rana was stabbed to death while trying to take a 62-year-old psychiatric patient to a hospital for treatment. A dramatic, all-night effort to apprehend the mentally ill 62-year-old murder suspect finally ended early Thursday morning.

The police officer and a colleague had been sent to an apartment house in Mo i Rana where the 62-year-old was living. It was considered a routine assignment but it ended in tragedy, reports Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

Upon entering the suspect’s home, the police officer was stabbed in the stomach with his colleague right behind him in the entryway. She was unhurt and called for help.

Rescue workers managed to get the wounded police officer out of the house but he was dead on arrival  at the hospital. Meanwhile, the psychiatric patient barricaded himself inside the apartment and refused to come out.

That led to an all-night stand-off as police evacuated the area and surrounded the house, where it was believed the suspect had weapons. Re-enforcements were sent from Bodø, police unleashed tear gas into the house and the suspect, considered highly dangerous, finally was apprehended around 5:30am.

It’s the second time in less than two months that a policeman has been killed in the line of duty in Norway. In early March, an officer was run down near Grimstad in southern Norway while trying to stop a fleeing motorist.

“There’s no question that the police force is deeply moved, when reminded for the second time in a matter of weeks of the risk that lies in police work,” Arne Johannessen, who leads the police union in Norway, told newspaper Aftenposten.

National police director Ingelin Killengreen was traveling to Mo i Rana on Thursday to support the local police chief. “It is with great sorrow that I have received the news that a police officer has been killed on duty,” she said in a statement. Justice Minister Knut Storberget, who has political responsibility for Norway’s national police force, also expressed his sorrow and shock over another police killing.

The victim, Olav Kildahl, was 58 years old and getting ready to retire after a long career with the Helgeland Police District, reported NRK.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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