Iceland's first-ever police shooting leaves 1 dead

2013-12-02 19:00

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Reykjavik - A man has been shot dead in Iceland's first-ever armed police operation, officials said on Monday.

With a population of only 322 000 and one of the lowest crime rates in the world, police rarely draw their weapons in the island nation.

The incident was "without precedent" in Iceland's history, national police chief Haraldur Johannessen told a press conference in Reykjavik.

The victim, a man in his late 50s, fired a shotgun several times in his apartment in the early hours of Monday morning, forcing police to evacuate residents of the building in east Reykjavik.

When they failed to make contact with him the police then fired gas canisters through his windows in an attempt to immobilise him.

"That did not work and the man started shooting out of the windows of the apartment," said Reykjavik police chief Stefan Eiriksson.

A police swat team then entered the apartment.

One officer was hit in the helmet and the other on a shield but neither were injured.

When they returned fire the man was fatally injured and later died in hospital.

"The police regrets this incident and wishes to extend its condolences to the man's family," said national police chief Johannessen.

An investigation has been opened to determine why the victim began shooting and whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Read more on:    iceland
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