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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Kongsberg’s victims’ names released

Police in Kongsberg, the small historic city that was stunned by what most call a senseless massacre last week, released the names during the weekend of the five people killed. All are now believed to have been random victims of a mentally disturbed assailant.

All lived in an old section of the city full of small wooden buildings that now house galleries, artists’ workshops and private residences. The founder of a ceramic workshop and gallery, 56-year-old Hanne Englund, was the first to be killed by a neighbour now undergoing psychiatric evaluation, Espen Andersen Bråthen. He terrorized the area for nearly an hour last Wednesday evening, shooting arrows at people, breaking into local buildings and murdering their residents.

He went on to murder artist Gun Marith Madsen, age 78, also in her home, then a retired couple, Liv Berit Borge and Gunnar Erling Sauve, both 75, in their home and Andrea Meyer, age 52, another local resident originally from Hamburg.

They were all honored at a memorial service at the large and ornate Kongsberg Church from 1761 on Sunday. It was packed with guests who included Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, new Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl and Kongsberg Mayor Kari Anne Sand.

“It was good to be here,” Mehl told state broadcaster NRK. She called the memorial “a fine and dignified ceremony,” at which representatives from the emergency services responding to the tragedy lit candles for each of the victims. Bråthen has now been confined in a locked psychiatric unit as debate begins over the status of mental health care in Norway and how or whether such tragedies can be prevented. staff



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