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Iceland: fatal police shooting is first in country's history

Iceland: fatal police shooting is first in country's history
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When gunfire rang out in an apartment block in a Reykyavik suburb in the early hours of December 2 it marked the first time an Icelandic armed police operation ended in someone being killed.

Officers shot dead a man who was firing a gun inside his apartment in Hraunbær. Two policemen were wounded during the operation.

Reykyavik police chief Stefán Eiríksson said “unprecedented” event would be thoroughly looked into.

“The case will be investigated by the state prosecutor, including whether the police could have reacted in a different way,” Stefán Eiríksson told reporters.

Residents of the apartment block alerted police at around 03:00 when they heard shots being fired in their neighbour’s apartment.

Camilla Lind Júlíusdótti said: “I woke up because of the loud bangs. First I thought it was a thunderstorm or something. Then, when I realised what was going on, I just froze. All the noise. We didn’t dare to go out of the room.”

Iceland has one of the lowest crime rates in the world and shootings are rare. Only a few dozen police officers are armed.