OSLO (Reuters) - Anders Behring Breivik screamed a “battle cry” and appeared both angry and joyous as he shot his victims one by one, survivors of the Norwegian far-right killer’s massacre told a court on Wednesday.
“I heard screaming but I couldn’t make out the words,” Ingvild Leren Stensrud, 17, who was shot in the leg and shoulder, said.
Stensrud, who survived after another victim fell on her, knocking her to the floor and thus creating the impression that she was dead, said she initially thought Breivik was not alone.
“I thought they (the attackers) were exchanging messages but realizing he was alone, I think the scream was actually a battle cry,” she testified. Breivik made sure his victims were dead by delivering a control shot to their heads one by one, she added.
Breivik killed 77 people on July 22, first detonating a car bomb outside government buildings in central Oslo which killed eight, and then shooting 69 people, most of them teenagers, at the ruling Labor Party’s summer camp on Utoeya Island.
He admits the killings but denies criminal guilt, arguing the killings were necessary since his victims were “traitors” who promoted Muslim immigration and multiculturalism, thereby threatening Norwegian ethnic purity.
Public reaction to the trial has been mostly calm, but days of harrowing testimony from survivors of Norway’s worst peacetime massacre have raised tensions. Last week, the brother of a man gunned down by Breivik hurled a shoe at him in court.
Stensrud said she sought refuge in the summer camp’s cafe, hiding behind a piano, only to get trapped as Breivik walked from room to room in the small building, killing over a dozen people.
“I tried to get to the door behind others and when they got shot, they fell on me. One laid across my chest,” she told the trial, which will continue until mid-June. “That’s when I got hit in the left thigh. Many were shot lying on the floor.”
“Next to me (a man) was coughing up blood,” she added.
That person, Glenn Martin Waldenstroem, said Breivik appeared both joyous and angry.
“His face looked distorted,” said Waldenstroem, 20, who survived being shot in the face. “He looked angry and smiled simultaneously,” he added, after asking the court to escort Breivik out of the room, saying he was unable to testify with him present.
When rescued, Waldenstroem could not speak and wrote his relatives’ phone number down on the floor with blood so they could be notified he was alive.
Breivik has said he initially tried to call an end to his killing spree after leaving the cafe, picking up a victim’s mobile and phoning police, only to be forced to leave a message.
He continued killing, shouting “you are going to die today, Marxists,” ignoring pleas of mercy from people begging for their lives.
If deemed sane, Breivik faces a 21-year jail sentence which could be indefinitely extended for as long as he is considered dangerous.
One court-appointed team of psychiatrists concluded he was psychotic, but a second team came to the opposite conclusion. The five judges will take a final decision on his sanity at the end of the trial.
Breivik has said he should either be executed or acquitted, calling the prospect of a prison sentence “pathetic”. If he were to be declared insane, he has said that would be “worse than death”.
Editing by Andrew Osborn