Police who finally tracked down the lone bomber and gunman who killed 76 persons in Norway last Friday said they found him in a forest glen on the island of Utøya “with his hands over his head.” He surrendered and was arrested without further incident.
Before that, though, the gunman dressed like a policeman himself, had spent nearly two hours terrorizing members of the Labour Party’s youth organization at their annual summer camp, along with support personnel and members of Norwegian Peoples Aid, who had been on the island to conduct a seminar. Anders Behring Breivik, now in isolation at Ila Prison outside Oslo, reportedly laughed as he roamed around the island shooting at random and murdering 68 persons.
“He seemed to enjoy shooting at us,” one camper told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).
Police in Oslo got their first calls about shooting on the island at 5:30pm on Friday, about a half-hour after it began. A special forces team was assembled within eight minutes and drove towards the island but had to wait for a boat to carry them out from the mainland. There is no regularly scheduled ferry service to Utøya.
The team consisted of two police officers from Nordre Buskerud and eight from the special force known as Beredskapstroppen. Operations leader Håvard Gåsbakk confirmed that a police boat brought in developed motor trouble, so the police commandeered two private boats and headed for the island’s only dock.
Breivik was arrested at 6:27pm, two minutes after the police first arrived on the island and fanned out in two directions.
Could hear shooting
Gåsbakk told reporters at a press conference in Hønefoss Wednesday that some of those who’d survived Breivik’ rampage pointed towards the northside of the island and the police started running.
“We got closer and we could hear shooting the whole time,” Gåsbakk said. “When we got closer we started using our voices, yelling that we were armed police and that he must surrender.” The terrain on the island was difficult.
“Suddenly the perpetrator was standing right in front of us with his hands over his head,” Gåsbakk said. His weapons were lying on the ground about 15 meters behind him. They still contained ammunition.
NRK reported that Breivik was close to getting shot because police feared he was wearing explosives and would set them off. He didn’t, his clothing was searched and he was handcuffed while other police immediately started first aid efforts for the wounded.
Police feared there were other gunmen on the island, and Breivik had apparently hung small packages in the trees that police also feared were explosives. It was a false alarm and Breivik was moved to a house on the island where he was kept until finally being taken back to the mainland several hours later.
More police started arriving on the island and all were sent to help victims. Volunteers also started arriving in more boats to help get survivors back to the mainland, where all were taken to nearby Sundvollen Hotel.
Police in Oslo continued to release the identities of those killed, with the list now standing at 17 including a 14-year-old girl.
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