A shooting outside of a gay bar in Oslo, Norway has been cause for cancelling Olso’s annual Pride parade.
Around 1:14 am local time, police received a call about an active shooter at London Pub, “the largest gay and lesbian venue” according to their website. Two people were killed, eight were rushed to a nearby hospital, and 14 sustained minor injuries. Three of the hospitalized victims are in critical condition.
The male suspect was apprehended three minutes after police arrived on the scene. According to CNN, prosecutor Christian Hatlo told reporters the suspect was a Norwegian citizen originally from Iran who was “known to the police,” but has only received “minor convictions” up until now. He was armed with two weapons during the shooting, though police have not released what weapons he used. Hatlo said police had charged the suspect with “murder, attempted murder and terrorist acts.”
Norwegian police are investigating the shooting as an act of terrorism, and the Norwegian domestic intelligence service was working to ensure no other acts of violence were being planned.
“We are now contributing all the relevant information we have to the Oslo police district and are working to clarify whether more acts of violence may be planned. We do not currently have any indications of that,” the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) said.
Organizers announced on Facebook that all events related to pride are canceled due to the pending investigation. “We will follow the police’s recommendations and take care of each other. Warm thoughts and love go to relatives, the injured and others affected,” said leader of Oslo Pride, Inger Kristin Haugsevje, and leader of the Association for Gender and Sexuality Diversity, Inge Alexander Gjestvang, in a joint statement. “We will soon be proud and visible again, but today we will hold and share the pride celebrations from home.”
Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre also expressed his condolences to the victims, calling the shooting “a cruel and deeply shocking attack on innocent people.”
“This day, June 25th, we were to celebrate love, we were to fill the streets in the colors of the rainbow, we were to showcase our community and our freedom. Instead, we are filled with grief,” he said. “Let there be no doubt. We are a community, we are a diverse and strong community, and we will never be threatened or give up our values.”
According to John Kirby, the NSC coordinator for strategic communications, the US has been in communication with the Norwegian government to offer condolences and support.
“We’re all horrified by the mass shooting in Oslo today, targeting the LGBTQI+ community there. And our house our hearts obviously go out to all the families of the victims, the people of Norway, which is a tremendous ally,” h told reporters aboard Air Force One as President Biden was flying to Europe.
The GO team is heartbroken and speechless. When will this end. RIP to our fallen family.