UPDATED: The small town of Elverum in Eastern Norway was mounting crisis teams over the weekend after police found the dead bodies of a 13-year-old boy and his father, in his 40s, in their home Friday evening. Police believe the man killed his son and then committed suicide himself.
“That a father would take his child into death with him is unreal,” Tord Arnesen, head of the local department of education, told news bureau NTB. Arnesen and officials at the school where the boy was in in the eighth grade were meeting with other parents and planning special sessions at the school on Monday to address the tragedy.
The local church was also opening its doors and memorials were held at the boy’s school in Elverum and one he had recently attended in nearby Nord-Odal. Norwegian officials and the media are careful about reporting suicides and identifying those involved, but Lars Lien, a professor of psychiatry at the local college, was urging openness.
“We must expect that the news of this will spread quickly when a 13-year-old is murdered,” Lien told NTB. “Openness is important. It should be discussed, while stressing that this is an extreme incident.”
Both bodies were sent for autopsy to officially determine cause of death and police later revealed that both were killed by gunshot wounds. Police believe the man shot his son and then turned the gun on himself. Police also revealed that they have possession of the weapon used and found what appears to be a suicide note in the house where the two lived. Officials nonetheless claimed that a full investigation into the killings would continue.