The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions

First fatal shooting by police mars Iceland's serene history

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
By Carol J. Williams
Los Angeles Times
For the first time in Iceland's modern history, police carried out a fatal shooting early Monday during an exchange of gunfire with a man reported to be firing at cars from his apartment window.
Two police officers were wounded in the shootout that followed a 5 a.m. emergency call from neighbors, Euronews quoted an Icelandic news agency as reporting. The 59-year-old victim from eastern Reykjavik, who wasn't immediately identified, was taken to an area hospital where he died of his wounds.
"Police regret this incident and would like to extend their condolences to the family of the man," Icelandic Police Chief Haraldur Johannessen told reporters in Reykjavik, according to the BBC.
An investigation has been ordered of the rare use of firearms by police, reported to be the first fatality in the more than 200 years since the former Viking stronghold began its drive for independence from Denmark. Police are generally unarmed in Iceland except for the special forces unit that provided backup in Monday's incident, BBC said.
The British broadcaster referred to its May report on Iceland's crime rate, 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.
The author-researcher of the BBC crime study, Andrew Clark of Boston's Suffolk University Law School, attributed the low incidence of violent crime in Iceland to the absence of class distinctions in a country where 97 percent identify themselves as middle class.
Clark also noted that, unlike in the United States, acquiring a gun involves a more rigorous system of checks, including a medical examination of the applicant and a written test.

More Nation & World Headlines


HeraldNet Headlines

Top stories and breaking news updates


Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus