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Man who fired on Norway police used starter's gun

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Man who fired on Norway police used starter's gun
File photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt / NTB scanpix
10:38 CEST+02:00
The Bergen man who precipitated Monday's rare police shooting fired on officers with a starter police, Bergensavisen reported.
Hordaland police shot a man who had barricaded himself inside his apartment and shot at officers after they stormed the residence. 
 
Armed police first fired a tear gas grenade into the apartment in an attempt to neutralize the man and said him they were fired upon when they entered.
 
At the time it wasn't immediately certain whether the gun the man used to fire at officers contained live cartridges, but on Wednesday police said that the shots were fired from a starter's pistol which emits a loud bang but does not release a projectile. 
 
“It is almost impossible to distinguish it from a real gun. Especially under the conditions involved in the police action,” police attorney Alexander Gonzalo Sele told Bergensavisen.
 
Sele stressed however that at close range, such a pistol could still do quite severe damage.
 
The starter's pistol has been sent to  gun is sent to the National Criminal Investigation Service (Kripos) for further analysis. 
 
The 25-year-old Bergen man was shot in the hand and has undergone two operations, the newspaper said. On Thursday he will be on the operating table once again, this time to have a finger amputated. 
 
Police have previously stated that two shots were fired at the man after he had barricaded himself in an apartment in Sandviken, but doctors at Haukeland University Hospital stated that the 25-year-old had been shot three times.
 
The man was remanded for four weeks by the Bergen District on Wednesday. He is charged with violence and threats against a public servant.
 
The man did not show up at the remand hearing because of his physical condition, and will spend the custody period in a psychiatric institution. If and when he is discharged from there, he will be transferred to regular police custody. 
 
The man was due to soon begin serving a four month prison term when Monday's shooting took place. He has previously been convicted of aggravated assault, drug offences and assaulting public servants.
 
Police shootings are very rare in Norway. Only two shots were discharged by Norwegian police in all of 2014 and neither of those killed or injured anyone. According to a comprehensive report on the use of police firearms released last year, Norwegian police have only shot and killed two people since 2002. 
 
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