At Least Two Dead in Pride Month Attack on Gay Bar in Oslo, Norway

At least two people have been killed and at least 21 injured in a rare mass shooting in Norway after a Norwegian citizen of Iranian descent opened fire at a gay bar in Oslo. The city’s Pride Parade, was scheduled for Saturday, but was canceled at the request of police following the shooting. According to Norwegian broadcaster NRK, eight of the injured are in serious to life-threatening condition.

A police spokesman said it was unclear whether the shooting was related to the Pride events leading up to Saturday’s parade. “Police are in contact with the organizers of the Pride event this Saturday,” said spokesman Tore Barstad.

The shooting began at around 1 a.m. local time at the London Pub, which claims to be “Oslo’s biggest gay and lesbian venue” on its website. The gunman then moved to the jazz club Herr Nilsen next door and fired random shots at a take-out establishment on the same street. “The scene was chaotic, it was a warm evening and a lot of people were outside, so there were people running everywhere,” a police official told CNN.

Bili Blum-Jansen, who was in a pub in London, said he hid in the basement with 80 to 100 other people to escape the bullets.

“Many people have phoned their partners and family, feeling as if they are saying goodbye. Others have helped calm people who are extremely scared,” he told TV2. “I had a little panic and thought that if the shooter or the shooters came, we would all die. There’s no way out.”

People hug near a police line after a shooting at the London Pub, a popular gay nightclub and bar, in central Oslo, Norway.


“There is reason to think this could be a hate crime,” police said at a news conference late Saturday.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere called the shooting “a terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people.”

Several people were injured by flying glass shards from the shooting. Witnesses told local media that the shooter entered the popular bar with a bag, from which he pulled out his gun and started shooting. Police arrested the shooter and seized at least two weapons.

Police later said the suspect was known to police and would be charged with terrorism, murder and attempted murder. Its name has yet to be revealed.

Oslo Pride released a statement on their Facebook page calling for the parade, asking everyone who had planned to attend or watch the parade not to attend. The group said in a statement on Facebook: “We are shocked and saddened by this tragic incident, and we are monitoring it closely. “Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones.”

“We’ll be proud and re-appear soon, but today, we’ll be sharing our Pride celebrations from home,” a statement on the Oslo Pride website said.

Despite that, hundreds of people marched near the scene later in the day, shouting: “We’re here, we’re weird, we’re not going away!”

“I think it’s great that this march went on, otherwise he would have won,” one woman told AFP.

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