OSLO (Reuters) – A Norwegian man was found guilty and sentenced to 12 years in prison on Thursday for hijacking an ambulance in 2019 and attempting to run over and kill seven people, including two police officers and twin toddlers.
Prosecutors had said Nicolai Kaupang, 33, stole the vehicle at gunpoint from ambulance workers responding to a traffic accident in which he was involved, leading to a high-speed pursuit by police.
Kaupang was carrying a significant quantity of illegal drugs, police said.
Kaupang had pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and of threatening two police officers but guilty to charges of aggravated robbery, possession of drugs, making aggravated threats and carrying a firearm.
The sentence matched the term sought by prosecutors, who had argued that when Kaupang drove the ambulance onto a pavement at high speed he had intended to kill the pedestrians there.
An 8-month-old girl was injured when the vehicle hit the buggy she was sharing with her twin brother. Her injuries were not life-threatening, and the boy escaped unhurt as the children’s mother had almost managed to pull the stroller away before the vehicle struck, prosecutors said.
The mother herself, the two police officers and two other passers-by all managed to get out of the path of the ambulance.
“It is proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the accused attempted to kill the victims,” the court said in its verdict.
Kaupang hit several cars during the chase, which lasted around five minutes according to a timeline provided by prosecutors, and police fired multiple shots at the ambulance before it came to a standstill.
Kaupang will be eligible to seek parole after eight years but his eventual release will depend on rehabilitation in prison due to the risk of repeat offences, the judges said.
The verdict is subject to appeal.
(Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Hugh Lawson)