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Icelandic shooting: Police say they shot and killed someone for the first time ever on Monday.


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Police in Iceland on Monday shot and killed a 59-year-old man who they say had fired a shotgun at police officers who were attempting to enter his apartment building. It's a sad story to be sure, but why is it garnering international headlines? Mostly because, by all accounts, it seems to be the first time anyone in Iceland can remember police ever shooting and killing someone. Yes, you read that right: ever.

The BBC has the broad outlines of the apparent fatal first: Police responded this morning to reports of a man firing his shotgun inside his Reykjavik home. After he continued shooting as authorities attempted to contact him, officers fired tear gas into his apartment and then proceeded to enter the apartment building, at which point the man allegedly opened fire again, injuring two members of the special forces in the process (one was struck in the face, the other in the hand). Police then responded with deadly force.

According to Icelandic police chief Haraldur Johannessen, the fatal police shooting is "without precedent," and local media outlets likewise report that it appears to be the first such incident in the nation's history. It's unclear, however, whether that history dates back only to Icelandic independence in 1944 or, much more unlikely, further back toward when the land was settled in the late 9th century. Regardless, we're talking about at least several generations here.

It's hard to even imagine.

http://www.hurstwic.org/library/arms_in_sagas/viking_weapons.jpg

Icelandic weapons pf choice.

So more people in Iceland die of axe and sword wounds?

It's like Middle Earth on that island!

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