Norway bow-and-arrow attacker handed over to health services 1 month ago

Norway bow-and-arrow attacker handed over to health services

A potentially months-long psychiatric evaluation will be carried out.

The man behind this week's bow-and-arrow attack in Norway that left five people dead has been handed over to health services for a psychiatric evaluation.


The subject of 37-year-old Espen Andersen Brathen's mental state is in question, prompting authorities to debate whether or not he can legally stand trial for what is being treated as a terrorist attack.

Three additional people were wounded during the incident.

Brathen, a Danish citizen previously known to police, has confessed to carrying out the killings in the town of Kongsberg on Wednesday night.

"He was handed over to health services on Thursday evening after an evaluation of his health condition," prosecutor Ann Iren Svane Mathiassen said in a statement.

It is expected that the psychiatric evaluation could take up to several months to complete.

"There is no doubt that the actual act appears as if it could be an act of terror, but it's important that the investigation continues and that we establish the motive of the suspect," said Hans Sverre Sjovold, head of Norway's intelligence service, at a press conference on Thursday.

Sjovold confirmed that Brathen has been in and out of Norway's health system "for some time".


23-year-old Markus Kultima was working in a beer shop during the attack.

"I saw a man come walking with an arrow in his back," Kultima told Reuters, adding that it was an off-duty police officer who told him to go home.

A motive has yet to be established for Brathen's actions, with authorities following a line of investigation that the attack was random and possibly a result of radicalisation.