Oslo, Norway residents go to Pride parade after gay bar shooting

0
20
Oslo, Norway residents go to Pride parade after gay bar shooting

Thousands showed up to mark Oslo’s Pride parade Saturday even after it had been officially canceled following a gunman killing two and wounding 21 at a gay club in the city hours earlier.

“This is for many a silent parade, but for others it’s a protest against two people being shot and killed on Saturday,” Ole Johannes M. Foss told Aftenposten. “It’s very powerful to be here. We see people crying next to us. We are here in pure solidarity with the whole movement. I am very shocked that something like this can happen in Norway in 2022.”

Frightened clubgoers at the London Pub hid in a basement and frantically called their relatives early Saturday as a gunman opened fire upstairs on the eve of he city’s annual Pride parade.

The unidentified gunman, described as a Norwegian citizen of Iranian descent, shot people inside and outside the pub, a mainstay of Oslo’s LGBTQ scene, as well as in the surrounding streets and at another bar. Cops said he acted alone.

Flowers are left as a spontaneous Pride parade arrives at the scene of the shooting in central Oslo.
Flowers are left as a spontaneous Pride parade arrives at the scene of the shooting in central Oslo.
AP
Flowers and rainbow flags are left along the street near the restaurant where the shooting took place.
Flowers and rainbow flags are left along the street near the restaurant where the shooting took place.
Getty Images

The suspect was known to domestic intelligence services and had a rap sheet for infractions like knife and drug possession, police said at a press conference Saturday. He was arrested minutes after opening fire, police said. Two weapons, including a fully automatic gun, were retrieved from the crime scene, they added.

“We’re coming back to London! The fight continues!” a participant at Saturday’s celebration told Aftenposten.

Bili Blum-Jansen, who was in the London Pub, told a local TV outlet that he ran to the basement to escape the gunfire and hid there along with 80 to 100 other people.”Many called their partners and family, it felt almost as if they were saying goodbye. Others helped calm down those who were extremely terrified,” Blum-Jansen told TV2.

Revelers at the spontaneous Pride parade.
Revelers attend the spontaneous Pride parade.
Getty Images
Police officers stand on patrol in central Oslo, near the scene of the shooting.
Police officers stand on patrol in central Oslo, near the scene of the shooting.
Getty Images

“I had a bit of panic and thought that if the shooter or shooters were to arrive, we’d all be dead. There was no way out.”

“Tonight’s shooting is absolutely horrific and pure evil,” the club announced on Facebook. Our thoughts go to the dead, injured and relatives. All employees in London are safe and physically unharmed. Take care of each other during this time.”

Police spokesman Tore Barstad said the motive was not immediately known and that it wasn’t clear whether the shooting had any connection to the Pride parade.

People react next to the cordoned-off crime scene.
The shooting was described as “horrific and pure evil.”
EPA

Source link