Published March 26, 2018
A gathering of Americans in Iceland protesting gun violence in their home country was briefly interrupted by a man armed with a knife. The man was confronted by an attendee, and police were called to the scene, but it is unknown at the time of this writing if he has been charged.
There are over 600 Americans in Iceland, and dozens of them took part in last Saturday’s March For Our Lives against gun violence in the US. In Reykjavík, this march ended at Austurvöllur, the square in front of Parliament, where speeches were given. It was during one such speech that witnesses on the scene told Grapevine that a man drew a knife and began to walk through the crowd. An alert attendee, spotting the knifeman, hurled him to the ground, the end result of which can be seen in this video (Article continues after video):
(Video: Sara Oskarsson)
Andri Sigurðsson was one of the first witnesses of the knifeman.
“I don’t remember what alerted me to him,” Andri told Grapevine. “It might be that someone shouted that there was a knife. The guy is walking really slowly through the crowd and moving his head back and forth and looking at the people with the knife in his hand. It was was very creepy, like from a horror movie creepy. Next thing I know a guy from New York takes him and throws him to the ground and that’s when I call the cops.”
Andri told us he and the American in question followed the man closely until the police arrived. The police reportedly knew of the man. Grapevine has video of the police talking to the suspect, which is being withheld out of the interests of privacy.
“Personally all I could think of is what if this event was being held in some other country,” Andri told us. “Then the guy might have had a gun. The guy looked like someone who had been living on the street, intoxicated and probably been that way for a long time.”
The man does appear to be visibly intoxicated in the above video. Andri says that societal neglect has unfortunately largely ignored Reykjavík’s street homeless.
“Basically we are not taking care of these sick people who are homeless and living on the street and this is the result,” he told Grapevine, adding that some homeless people who congregate on Austurvöllur have told him that there has been an uptick of people ending up on the street.
Grapevine is still awaiting confirmation from the police of what transpired after the police spoke with the suspect.