Custody hearing for Norway bow-and-arrow killings suspect

Five people died and three others were hurt in an attack in the town of Kongsberg.

Tributes at the scene of the attack
Tributes at the scene of the attack

The suspect in a bow-and-arrow attack that killed five people and wounded three others in a quiet Norwegian town this week is facing a custody hearing.

Espen Andersen Braathen will not appear in court because he has has confessed to the killings and has agreed to being held in custody, officials said.

The 37-year-old Danish citizen was arrested on Wednesday night, 30 minutes after a deadly rampage which apparently targeted random people in the town of Kongsberg.

Tributes left at the scene
Five people died in the attack (AP)

Police have described the attack as an act of terror.

On Thursday, Andersen Braathen was handled over to medical authorities, Norwegian news media reported, where he will be observed and assessed by two experts who will try to clarify whether he was sane at the time of the attack.

If they conclude he was not sane, he cannot be punished for the acts, but can be sentenced to compulsory mental health care.

Andersen Braathen allegedly used a bow and arrow and possibly other weapons to randomly target people at a supermarket and other locations in Kongsberg, the town of about 26,000 where he lived.

Bow and arrow attack scene
Police cordon off one of the sites where a man killed several people on Wednesday afternoon in Kongsberg (AP)

Four women and a man between the ages of 50 and 70 were killed, and three other people were wounded.

Police said they believe he acted alone. Norway’s domestic security service PST said the attack “appears to be an act of terror”.

It added that Andersen Braathen was known to the PST, but declined to elaborate.

The suspect has been described by police as a Muslim convert, with officers adding that there had been earlier worries of the man having been “radicalised”.

According to Norwegian media, Andersen Braathen has a conviction for burglary and drug possession, and last year a court granted a restraining order for him to stay away from his parents for six months after threatening to kill one of them.

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