An armed motorist who fled the scene of a car accident he was involved in Sunday night ended up taking another motorist hostage and then set off a shoot-out with police in Stavanger. After firing shots at both a police officer and his hostage, police shot him and he later was declared dead at the local hospital.
“We had a hostage drama last night, that’s an appropriate description,” the local police chief, Hans Vik, told reporters at a press conference on Monday. It started after the car accident in Randaberg involving the gunman and a family of four, who were unhurt. When police arrived at the scene of the accident, however, the other motorist had fled and later forced his way into another car to take its driver hostage.
State broadcaster NRK reported that police, aware the man was armed, quickly tracked down the car he’d seized and followed it towards Stavanger. The drama increased when the gunman started firing out the window of the car and later at police, wounding his hostage in the process. That led to a standoff near the Eiganes tunnel, during which police shot the gunman.
A police investigation into the entire chain of events is already underway. Vik said police involved “were in a very demanding situation. They did their job, they are professional and trained people.” The assailant was described as a man in his 40s with a criminal record and who faced a court hearing in December on charges of threatening police on an earlier occasion. NRK reported that his hostage suffered gunshot wounds but was out of danger. The police officer who was shot was wearing a bullet-proof vest and survived as well.