A shooting outside an Oslo gay bar has left two people dead and 19 injured after a gunman opened fire outside The London Pub, which is known locally as “gay headquarters”. The bar is one of the Norwegian capital’s most popular gay nightspots. The shooting took place in the early hours of this morning (Saturday 25 June) just a day before the city’s Pride. Police have confirmed that they arrested a suspect shortly after the attack and that the sole gunman is now in custody and that, on their advice, the Pride parade has now been cancelled.
Tore Barstad, a spokesperson for the police, said that the gunman was refusing to cooperate with police and that any motive was not yet known. He told reporters, “Police are in contact with the organisers of the Pride event this Saturday.
“There will be a continuous assessment of what measures police should take to protect that event and whether this incident has a connection to Pride at all.”
Oslo Pride, posting on Facebook, said: “We are shocked and saddened by the tragic incident, and we are following it closely. We are in close dialogue with the police. Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones. We will provide more information as soon as possible.”
“I had to run for cover”
Olab Roenneberg, a journalist with public broadcaster NRK, said, “I saw a man arrive with a bag, he picked up a gun and started to shoot. “First I thought it was an air gun, then the glass of the bar next door was shattered and I understood I had to run for cover.”
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre described the shooting as “a cruel and deeply shocking attack on innocent people”.
A Facebook post from The London Pub’s Facebook has confirmed that no staff members were hurt.
The shooting comes almost 11 years after right-wing extremist Anders Breivik detonated a bomb in Oslo killing nine, before murdering 69 people in a mass shooting rampage on the island of Utøya.
Norway is known for its progressive stance on LGBT rights, coming fourth out of 49 countries in ILGA-Europe’s annual ranking.