Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Norway father pays tribute to son

Red roses float in the water close to Utoya island, where gunman Anders Behring Breivik killed at least 68 people (AP)

The father of one of the first victims of the Norway massacre to be named by police said his son was full of love for people and for the outdoors - and the young man's last words to him were "Dad, someone is shooting."

Norwegian police began releasing the names of those killed in last week's bomb blast and massacre at a Labour Party youth camp, an announcement likely to bring new collective grief to an already reeling nation.

Police named the first four of at least 76 people dead. Although only names, ages and home towns were listed, it will likely bring another shock to friends and acquaintances just learning the names of the victims.

Anders Behring Breivik, 32, has confessed to the attacks, claiming he was trying to save Europe from what he says is Muslim colonisation.

The first release listed three who were killed in a bomb blast in Oslo's government quarter and one dead after the rampage at a Labour Party youth camp on Utoya island. They were Gunnar Linaker, 23, from Bardu in northern Norway, who was killed at the camp; and Oslo residents Tove Aashill Knutsen, 56; Hanna M. Orvik Endresen, 61; and Kai Hauge, 33.

Linaker's father said that Gunnar was "a calm, big teddy bear with lots of humour and lots of love."

His voice weak and trembling, Linaker said he had been on the phone with his son concerning another matter when the shooting started. "He said to me: 'Dad, dad, someone is shooting,' and then he hung up."

That was the last he heard from his son. Gunnar Linaker was among the wounded and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died on Saturday. His 17-year-old sister also was at the camp, but somehow survived the slaughter, he said.

Knutsen, a secretary at the union for electricians and IT workers, had left the office for the day and was on her way to a subway station when the bomb exploded in the government quarter, union head Hans Felix said. Normally Knutsen would go to and from work on her bicycle, but earlier that day she had left it at a repair shop.

"It wasn't finished, so this day she had to take the subway home. Tove never got home," Felix said in a statement. "Tove was a happy girl who was well liked by us all, and it feels unreal that she is no longer with us."

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