Another shooting occurred in downtown Reykjavík at around one in the morning of February 13th, Vísir reports. Police are now investigating a possible connection with a previous shooting in downtown Reykjavík last Thursday.
According to eyewitness accounts, yesterday’s shooting occurred at a parking garage on Bergstaðastræti. The witness said they heard five or six shots fired, ran to the window, and saw one of the suspects holding what appeared to be a semiautomatic rifle.
Police and special forces descended on the scene quickly, and three people were arrested shortly thereafter. An injured man is in intensive care with a serious gunshot wound to the torso.
Police have disclosed little about the matter as investigations are ongoing, apart from saying that everyone involved are Icelandic men of fairly young age; none of them are older than 20. They are currently being questioned in police custody.
Minister of Justice Jón Gunnarsson told reporters that he was shocked by the news and is in conversation with the police on how best to respond to what may be a new trend of increased violence in Iceland’s criminal underground.
“I am shaken, like others, greatly shaken,” Jón told reporters. “I will discuss this with the police presently and go over the situation with them. I know people are very much on edge over this.”
Iceland is typically known for being a country with very little gun violence, despite a high percentage of gun ownership. This has usually been associated with the high bar to cross in order to obtain a license.
However, in recent years there has been a significant increase in semiautomatic rifles being imported to the country. Jónas Hafsteinsson, who oversees the licensing department at the police, told reporters that in 2016 and 2017, no automatic weapons were imported to the country. Two were imported in 2018 and 19 in 2019. In 2020, however, these imports rose dramatic when 252 automatic weapons were imported.
That said, Jónas told reporters that police were not especially worried about the increase in imports of these guns, as importers can only purchase these weapons through a strictly regulated license. Such a license does not, however, preclude a licensee from later loaning or even selling these weapons to others without alerting authorities. In addition, police reported that seven guns have been stolen in the past year.
For now, investigations into this shooting are ongoing. We will keep you informed of any relevant details as the story develops.
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