UPDATED: An 80-year-old man in Sarpsborg, southern Norway, called police just before midnight on Tuesday and said he’d killed his wife, age 73. Police arrived quickly at their home in the residential area of Grålum and seized the rifle believed to have been used.
Police Inspector Espen Jamissen said there was no record of any previous trouble at the home and the man had a valid license for the rifle. Jamissen said the man had been charged with murder but declined to discuss any motive.
Neighbours were stunned. “I can’t understand this at all,” Gunnar Skaar, a retiree who had known the couple as “calm and quiet,” told state broadcaster NRK. “What could have set off something so incomprehensible?”
The elderly defendant was undergoing police questioning on Wednesday and was due for a custody hearing. Police described the murder as “tragic” and were calling for any information from the public that may be of interest. They weren’t ruling out that others may be involved. “We believe we have the right man in custody but it’s important not to rule out other alternatives,” Jamissen told reporters.
The man’s defense attorney later said his client admitted the facts in the case but denies he’s guilty of premeditated murder as charged. “This was a terrible accident,” defense attorney Harald Otterstad told NRK. “It’s not correct for me to go into detail, but the core of the matter is that this was not intentional, nor did he want to kill her. He is absolutely shattered by this.”