A gunman opened fire in Oslo's nightlife district early Saturday, killing two people and leaving 10 seriously wounded in what police are investigating as a possible terrorist attack during the Norwegian capital's annual Pride festival. Investigators said the suspect, identified as a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen originally from Iran, was arrested after opening fire at three locations in downtown Oslo, per the AP. While the motive was unclear, organizers of Oslo Pride canceled a parade that was set for Saturday as the highlight of a weeklong festival. One of the shootings happened outside the London Pub, a bar popular with the city's LGBTQ community, just hours before the parade was set to begin. Police attorney Christian Hatlo said the suspect was being held on suspicion of murder, attempted murder, and terrorism, based on the number of people targeted at multiple locations.
"Our overall assessment is that there are grounds to believe that he wanted to cause grave fear in the population," Hatlo said. He added that the suspect's mental health was also being investigated. The shootings happened around 1am local time, sending panicked revelers fleeing into the streets or trying to hide from the gunman. A police inspector said two of the shooting victims died and 10 people were being treated for serious injuries, but none of them was believed to be life-threatening. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said in a Facebook post that the shooting "was a cruel and deeply shocking attack on innocent people." He said that while the motive was unclear, the shooting had caused fear and grief in the LGBTQ community. "We all stand by you," Gahr Stoere wrote.
Investigators said the suspect was known to police, as well as to Norway's security police, but not for any major violent crimes. His criminal record includes a narcotics offense and a weapons offense for carrying a knife, Hatlo said. He noted that police seized two weapons after the attack: a handgun and an automatic weapon, both of which he described as "not modern" without giving details. He said the suspect hadn't made any statement to the police and that it was too early to say whether the gunman specifically targeted members of the LGBTQ community. "We have to look closer at that, we don't know yet," he said. Still, police advised organizers of the Pride festival to cancel the parade Saturday. "All events in connection with Oslo Pride are canceled," organizers said on the event's official Facebook page.
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