August 12, 2011
Anders Behring Breivik’s attorney said on Friday that the killer called the police from Utøya island at least ten times before he was arrested.
Geir Lippestad said his client reached the police twice. He identified himself by name and said he wanted to surrender.
Accounts of the rampage note Breivik paused before resuming the shooting. He ultimately killed 69 people at the Labor Party summer camp.
Lippestad said Breivik considered “taking his life or continuing with what he called his operation, and decided to continue until police arrived.”
Survivors and relatives of the victims have criticized police for their lackadaisical response to the rampage.
It took police one hour and 19 minutes after the shooting began to respond and arrest the assailant. A police boat took a 3.64 kilometers route to Utøya, some 3 kilometers longer than the shortest crossing point.
The inflatable dinghy used by local police began to take on water shortly after setting off and the police unit required the help of two privately-owned boats to reach the island.
Police have also received criticism for not using an available helicopter, or helicopters under the command of the army.
Norwegian police have rejected the assertion that their response to the Oslo bombing and Utøya shootings could have been any faster under the circumstances.
On Friday, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg presented a new commission to investigate the attacks. “We must draw information from these terrorist attacks. The goal is for this never to happen again. The goal is more security,” he told reporters.