One of the five people killed during a bow-and-arrow rampage in Norway was a ceramic artist who was heard screaming for her life as she lay dying in a pool of blood outside her home, according to a report.
Hanne Englund, who was in her 50s, was struck near her home studio after Muslim convert Espen Andersen Bråthen allegedly began his attack at a Coop supermarket in the town of Kongsberg, some 40 miles southwest of Oslo, the Daily Mail reported.
Three other women and a man also lost their lives in the assault, which has been deemed an apparent “act of terror” by Norway’s intelligence service.
“I heard awful yelling and screaming while I was at home. It sounded like a couple quarreling or fighting,” Thomas Nilsen, an optometry student who lives in the area, told the outlet.
“I shrugged it off at first, then I heard what I think was a single gunshot which must have been a warning shot from the police,” he said. “Five minutes later, I heard the sound of a lady yelling like I had never heard before. It was just fearful and a sound of desperation. In my mind these were the shrieks of a person dying.
“I sat inside and I didn’t dare go out because I didn’t know if there was a gun involved. Then there was complete silence so I went out and looked round the corner and saw five or six people including paramedics trying to revive this lady,” Nilsen added.
“Paramedics were working on the poor woman, and were yelling, ‘Defibrillator!’ as they desperately tried to hold onto her life before she was taken away in an ambulance,” he told the outlet.
“Later, I saw the huge pool of blood. I knew the lady so well. She was flamboyant, beautiful and warm-hearted. She was like a butterfly. She had time for everyone. I only spoke to her yesterday morning, and now this happens. It is just horrendous,” the student added.
Bråthen’s alleged attack comes about four years after he posted a chilling video.
“Hello. I’m a messenger. I come with a warning. Is this really what you want? And for all who want to make up for themselves, so it’s time. Bear witness that I am a Muslim,” Bråthen reportedly said in English in a Facebook video that was flagged to police.
Meanwhile, the Danish citizen faced a custody hearing Friday but won’t appear in court because he has confessed to the killings and has agreed to being detained.
Norwegian news media reported Friday that Bråthen will be assessed by two experts who will try to determine if he was sane at the time of the attack. If they conclude that he was not sane, he cannot be punished for the acts, but can be sentenced to compulsory mental health care.
On Friday, a court in Kongsburg ordered Bråthen to be held for four weeks, including two weeks in isolation plus a ban on communicating with others.
He was being held on five counts of preliminary murder and three counts of preliminary attempted murder. Preliminary charges are a step short of formal charges.
“Reference is made to the extremely serious nature of the case, which has also led to great media interest both nationally and internationally. If the accused is not shielded from this and from other prisoners, important evidence could be lost,” the ruling stated.
Bråthen, who has been described as radicalized, has a conviction for burglary and drug possession, and last year a court granted a restraining order for him to stay away from his parents for six months after he threatened to kill one of them.
With Post wires