First Police Shooting in Iceland’s History: “This is Unprecedented”

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Iceland pic

Police in Iceland have shot and killed a gunman, marking the first time armed police have killed anyone in the country’s modern history.

Iceland has a population of around 320,000 and a low crime rate, and gun violence is extremely rare. Its regular police force does not carry firearms – the only officers permitted to carry firearms are on a special force called the Viking Squad.

Officers were called to the Reykjavik suburb of Arbaer early Monday when a man was reported to be firing a shotgun at cars from his apartment window.

Tear gas canisters were fired through the broken windows in an attempt to subdue the shooter. When that failed, he was shot after firing at special forces police entering the building. Two policemen were shot when trying to enter the gunman’s apartment – one in the face and the other in the hand.

Reykjavik Metropolitan Police Commissioner Stefan Eiriksson explained the decision to use armed forces:

“All available members of the police force were deployed, and they tried to subdue him, but it was not successful. The man began to shoot out the window of the apartment and it was decided to take action.”

The 59-year-old gunman, whose identity has not been released, died at an area hospital.

Iceland’s crime rate is one of the lowest in the world despite widespread gun ownership. There are about 90,000 guns registered among Iceland’s 315,000 people, making it 15th in the world in per capita gun ownership, reports. Acquiring a gun in Iceland is not an easy process -steps to gun ownership include a medical examination and a written test.

Icelandic police chief Haraldur Johannessen said the incident was unprecedented.

“Police regret this incident and would like to extend their condolences to the family of the man,” he told reporters.

Counseling is being provided to the special forces team.

An investigation into the conduct of the police is underway. The motive of the gunman is not known at this time.

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  • R.Sooriamoorthy

    That’s too bad; in Iceland, there are genuine Peace officers. That’s a country so unlike the US.
    People are civilized and the country is a peaceful one.
    I wonder if that crazy guy was not someone sent by the US to provoke a reaction that would give the country a bad name.And he foolishly walked into that trap.

    • Cheyenne

      Wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  • Jean

    Gotta LOL at the police forces needing counseling; but I see the stats are so low, it’s not impossible.

    Funny how it’s sticking out because it’s the EXCEPTION, though. You’d think it would be the wild west of US folklore, based on Brady, Biden, et al…

  • flabbergasted

    The evil of this world is trying to gain a foothold in one of the last holdout nations left.
    Remember what they did to their criminal bankers?
    What a thought; that police would actually be distraught at being forced to take a life to protect the public. Seems that they had no choice.
    Prayers to all those involved and to their entire country.
    Stay free from this world!

  • Fred

    2 officers shot attempting to enter the building???
    Well that would never happen in the US. The police
    would call in an air strike to level the building and
    neutralize the hostiles inside first. Then they would
    pose for news pictures standing on the rubble.

    • right and be “heroes”

    • wasntme

      Or burn it down with something they nicknamed “the burner” and act surprised that the burner burned down the house.

  • yeee hawwww

    lemme guess? Not a narural born citizen?

  • yeee hawwww

    Natural damnit

  • Mr. Jonz

    If it was in the US the cops would have laughing and congratulating each other. There would also have been at least one dog shot.

  • Dylan

    So if we in the UK had a high population of gun ownership we would have much less crime. I worked in South Africa in the Apartheid Era, and during the 1976/77 riots, and nobody would touch you, or break into your home, because you could protect yourself, not like in this HELL HOLE UK PLC, it is the Crooks and Criminals the Police, CPS, Lawyers, Barrister and Judiciary protect, time to allow us all to be armed, so we can get crime down like Iceland.