Masked Man Carrying Fake Firearm Raises Alarm Downtown

Reykjavík pond downtown

Police were dispatched to the Vesturbær neighborhood on the west side of Reykjavík in the early hours of Sunday morning after receiving reports of a masked man carrying a firearm, RÚV reports. Thankfully, the matter was resolved quickly and the weapon in question turned out to be an imitation.

According to police reports, officers, including members of the police’s armed division, were sent to the area to locate the man and ensure public safety at the time the report was made. Eye witnesses reported the presence of six police cars, including two special forces vehicles, blocking routes into the city centre.

See Also: Heightened Police Presence in Reykjavík This Weekend

Just after 1:00 am, a car was stopped in Vesturbær, and a fake firearm was confiscated from its occupant, who was taken into custody.

At time of writing, police were unable to confirm if the man was intending to present the fake firearm as a real weapon. The case will be reviewed over the weekend and state prosecutors will decide how to proceed.

Children of Victim Grieve After Shooting in Blönduós

crime in iceland

The children of the victim of the shooting in Blönduós have released a statement in which they critiqued media coverage of the attack, and asked for peace while they grieve.

The attack took place this Sunday morning, August 21, at 5:30 AM. Two were left dead and one seriously injured after the attack, which appears to have been a dispute between a former employee and the victim.

Following the attack, two were taken into custody. However, they have since been released.

In their statement, the children of the victim said:

“On Sunday, our lives changed forever and will never be the same again. We mourn our mother and our father is seriously injured in the hospital. We have received warm greetings and support from all over the country. For that we are grateful. It is more difficult than words can describe to go through what we are experiencing right now. It is even more serious when the media reports false and misleading news about incidents and invades our privacy by posting pictures and repeatedly calling us, our closest friends and relatives. Therefore, we kindly ask the media to respect the privacy of our private life, family and home. We need peace to deal with this trauma, to mourn our mother and care for our father. Because today, nothing is more important than his recovery. Everything we have to say is stated above. We will not comment further. We reiterate that we ask the media to respect it. Sandra, Hilmar, Pétur and Karen.”

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has also released a statement regarding the tragedy, seen above in a Facebook post. In her statement, she called on the entire nation to support the affected community in their time of need.

Released from Custody Following North Iceland Shooting

Blönduós

Two people have been released from custody following a shooting in North Iceland yesterday morning. Northeast Iceland Police announced their release following questioning and stated that they would not issue a warrant for arrest. Two people are dead, and one is seriously injured following the incident, which sent shockwaves through the small community of Blönduós.

On Sunday morning around 5:30 AM, police were notified that a firearm had been discharged in a home in Blönduós. According to RÚV, the alleged shooter entered a home, where he shot its residents, a man and woman. The woman was killed and the man seriously injured. Police found the shooter dead at the scene.

Alleged shooter a former employee of one victim

RÚV’s sources stated that the couple’s son was in his room at the time along with his girlfriend and that he attacked the alleged shooter and was later arrested. He has now been released and no warrant for his arrest will be issued. Police stated that there was no suspicion of a firearm being used on the attacker and no suspicion that the attacker had taken his own life.

The alleged shooter is a former employee of the man who was seriously injured and has reportedly struggled with mental illness. Police had previously been in contact with him due to threats with a firearm and had confiscated a firearm from him. The alleged shooter held a gun licence.

Residents offered trauma support

A town hall meeting was held for Blönduós residents yesterday evening, as well as a support gathering at Blönduós Church. The Icelandic Red Cross has sent around eight staff members to the town to provide trauma support. Guðmundur Haukur Jakobsson, speaker of the municipal council of Húnabyggð, has called on the nation to stand with the area’s residents in this difficult time.

“The residents of the area are devastated, and we are still processing the fact that this really happened,” Guðmundur stated, reading from a statement written by the council on behalf of residents. “The thoughts of all Húnabyggð residents are with the deceased, those involved, and the relatives of those connected to this terrible event. The community is in some sort of shock, and everyone is trying to come to grips with these events and the emotions that come along with them. In a small community like ours, everyone is an acquaintance, friend, and/or relative, and an event like this wounds the community deeply.”

Two Dead, One Injured in Blönduós Shooting

Two people are dead and one injured after a shooting in Blönduós in Northwest Iceland on Sunday morning. RÚV reports that one of the deceased was the shooter. No information about the condition of the injured individual was available at time of writing, but the person was airlifted to the hospital in Reykjavík for medical attention.

The shooting took place in a private home at 7:00 am on Sunday morning. Two people are in police custody in relation to the incident. All of those involved are Icelandic and live in Blönduós.

No police weapons discharged at scene

According to an announcement made by the Northwest Iceland Police, officers responded to the scene after receiving word of a serious incident in which a firearm had been drawn on two individuals. Around the time of the callout, authorities requested the Coast Guard’s assistance transporting the SWAT team from Reykjavík to the scene, but this assistance was ultimately deemed unnecessary, and the helicopter was called back to Reykjavík after take-off.

Responding officers were armed, but no police officers used their weapons at the scene.

The alleged shooter was dead when police arrived, as was one of the shooting victims. Medical help was provided to the injured party and the scene secured. The Red Cross trauma team was also called out to provide counselling services.

The Northwest Iceland Police have taken two individuals in custody in connection with the shooting and will continue to investigate the incident.

Read a recent in-depth article on gun ownership in Iceland.

Woman in Serious Condition After Yesterday’s Shooting

Metropolitan Police

A young woman is in serious condition after a shooting in Reykjavík yesterday, Vísir reports. The police authorities admit that gun-related crimes are a growing concern.

Nearly 80 police officers dispatched

A man and a woman were transported to the emergency ward with serious injuries following a shooting in the Grafarholt neighbourhood of Reykjavík yesterday morning. After an extensive manhunt, a man in his twenties was detained on Miklabraut, along with a suspected accomplice.

According to Vísir, the gunman fired shots from range at his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend. The woman was shot in her abdomen, the man in his thigh.

Do not pose a risk to the public

When asked if the attack had been premeditated, Margeir Sveinsson, Assistant Chief of the Capital Area Police, refused to speculate. “We have two suspects in custody, and we’re looking into it.”

Both of the suspects are in their thirties and have a criminal record. One of the men has spent a portion of his adult life in prison, according to Vísir. The police will seek continued custody over the suspects.

“We don’t believe that the men pose a risk to the public; the violence was contained within a certain group, and the attack was aimed at certain people. This is not to say that bystanders weren’t in jeopardy,” Margeir remarked.

Gun-related crime a growing concern

The shooting yesterday marked the second time in less than a year that a person has been shot in Iceland.  In February of last year, a man was shot dead outside his home in Rauðagerði, Reykjavík. This summer, an armed man was shot by the police in Egilsstaðir in East Iceland.

“It’s not been long since a similar shooting took place,” Margeir told Vísir. “We take this very seriously, and we are, to say the least, not thrilled about these developments.”

Man In Custody in Connection With Attack on Mayor’s Car

Dagur B Eggertsson Reykjavík Mayor

A man in his 50s was taken into custody on Saturday in connection with an armed attack on Reykjavík Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson’s car, RÚV reports. The mayor and his family were not in the car at the time the incident occurred but Dagur says the incident has caused difficult emotions. Investigation into the case is ongoing.

Two men have been declared defendants in the case, which involved bullets fired at Dagur’s family car as well as at a Social-Democratic Alliance office (the political party to which the Mayor belongs). One of the men was released after questioning while the other was kept in custody. The custody order expires today and it is unclear whether detectives will apply for an extension.

Threats to Politicians and Journalists Should be Made Public

In a TV interview yesterday, Dagur stated that his wife and children have responded stoically to the incident. “But of course it causes difficult feelings. It’s uncertainty and stress, and you find yourself, we all do, looking out the window a little differently while there is still uncertainty in all of this.”

Dagur says he and his family have received an outpouring of support following the incident. “But I notice that people in politics and the media and elsewhere have contacted me and told me stories about being threatened.” In most of the cases, says Dagur, the victim decided against making the story public. “I think it’s important that we discuss this. I think many people experience that harshness and angry rhetoric has increased. They are maybe also more visible due to social media and other things,” Dagur stated.

Mayor Felt Targeted By Video

Less than two months prior to the attack on the mayor’s car, interest group Björgum miðbænum (En: Let’s Save Downtown) released a video accusing Dagur of bribery and corruption. The video, which showed the mayor’s home in downtown Reykjavík, accused him of “attacking the family car” by removing public parking on his own street while simultaneously purchasing three parking spots for himself from the city. The video, narrated by Centre Party City Councillor Vigdís Hauksdóttir, also claimed that the cost of converting the parking lot into a pedestrian plaza had cost ISK 657 million ($5.1 million/€4.2 million). The City of Reykjavík has since issued a notice refuting these claims, stating that the plaza in fact cost ISK 60.6 million ($468,000/€387,000) to build and the small parking lot next to Dagur’s house has been in private ownership for decades.

Bolli Kristinsson, one of the video’s creators, apologised for the video on social media yesterday, saying that although “most [of the video’s claims] are correct […] one serious error has appeared, that Dagur B. Eggertsson had bought three parking spaces from the city in a private sale.” Bolli did not comment on the cost of the plaza. The video has since been taken down. Police have not found any causal link between the video and the attack on the mayor’s car at this point.