Police in Norway arrested a Norwegian man of Iranian descent Saturday following a deadly mass shooting at a bar for homosexuals in Oslo, the nation’s capital.
He is accused of taking part in a series of shootings across three sites in Oslo. One of the shootings occurred Saturday early morning at London Pub, a gay bar, resulting in the deaths of two people and the injury of over 21 others, Axios reported.
Police arrested Matapour, 42, following the incident and impounded a handgun and one automatic weapon related to the shooting, according to BBC News.
The shooting occurred hours before Oslo was scheduled to have its first “Pride” parade since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic two years ago.
Following the mass shooting, organizers canceled the parade and related events.
“Oslo Pride has received clear advice and a recommendation from the police that the parade, Pride Park, and any other event in relation to Oslo Pride be cancelled,” the parade’s organizers wrote in a Sunday morning post on Facebook.
“We will follow the police’s recommendation and take care of each other. We are sending warm thoughts and love to next of kin, those who were wounded, and others affected,” the organizers said.
Matapour was on the radar of the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) since 2015, Chief Roger Berg said. Authorities were then concerned that Matapour could have been radicalized and had links to Islamist networks in the country.
He was a “suspected radicalised Islamist” in the eyes of the PST, BBC News reported.
Last month, police spoke with Matapour, but did not find any clear intentions of violence during the conversation.
Matapour has had previous run-ins with the law including convictions for aggravated assault and unlawful drug possession.
In February 2016, he was convicted of possessing 100 grams of cocaine, for which he received 30 days’ imprisonment and 90 days’ conditional imprisonment, along with having to pay 21,500 Norwegian kroner ($2,182.40) in fines and legal fees.
In 1999, he was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment for a stabbing at a nightclub.
However, the Court of Appeals acquitted him of multiple charges related to the stabbing, NRK reported. He was released, after 30 days in prison.
Later, in September 2020, he was fined 12,000 kroner ($1,218.09) for walking around in a public place with a knife.
Matapour hailed from a Kurdish region in Iran. He had moved to Norway in the 90s with his family, according to NRK.
According to court records, he had mental health issues, such as “PTSD, hallucinations, and difficulty concentrating.”
While the shooting was being investigated as a terrorism incident, police were not ruling out mental illness contributing to his behavior.
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