Posted on October 31, 2008

Victims Recovering From Stabbing Spree

Aftenposten (Norway), Oct. 29, 2008

Four persons stabbed in downtown Oslo Tuesday night by a man with a record of violence were in stable condition after their frightening ordeal. Their attacker was in police custody and being held at a psychiatric hospital.

The stabbing drama suddenly played out around the Gunerius shopping complex around 9am Tuesday.

One witness said he and his wife were walking down the pedestrian street Brugata after a theater visit, when a man came walking “quietly and calmly” towards them.

“Suddenly he raised his arm and he was holding a big Rambo-like knife,” the man told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “My wife yelled ‘RUN,’ and we ran into a nearby café and yelled for everyone to stay inside and call the police.”

The knife-wielding man proceeded to go on a stabbing spree, randomly assaulting passersby including one woman who was stabbed in the throat, a man whom he stabbed in the arm and another man who was stabbed while waiting for the tram in Storgata.

Police were finally able to apprehend the assailant, a 36-year-old man from Somalia, inside a local parking garage. He has a police record after earlier incidents involving possession of narcotics and violence.

“It would be wrong to say he was arrested without any drama,” Lasse Alver of the Oslo Police District told “It seemed as though he was trying to attack everyone and anyone he came across.”

Two persons were sent to Ullevål Hospital while two others were treated at a local emergency clinic.

One witness said the man had been carrying the knife in a plastic bag, and pulled it out as he encountered potential victims. He ultimately threw the knife down and ran. “He seemed unstable,” said Alver after the arrest was made. “He just wanted to attack anyone he saw.”