07/26/2011

Princess's step-brother died a hero in Norway slaughter

Norway-princess Princess Mette-Marit (L) is seen crying at a memorial service for the victims of Anders Behring Breivik in Oslo. Off-duty police officer Trond Berntsen (R) was one of the first people shot by Breivik.

In the aftermath of the horrific killing spree in Norway, the tales of death and survival have affected all echelons of the Scandinavian country's society.

One tale of heroism comes from the family of Norwegian Princess Mette-Marit, whose step-brother became one of first victims in the murderous assault of Anders Behring Breivik.

Trond Berntsen, a 51-year-old off-duty police officer, was working at the Labour Party youth camp on the island when Breivik came ashore to launch his assault.

Part of the private security hired for the gathering, the unarmed father of two reportedly protected his 10-year-old son by pushing him out of the gunman's fire before being hit himself and becoming one of the Breivik's first victims just minutes into the shooting spree.

"The 32-year-old gunman did not hesitate for one second in his murderous enterprise, and killed the unarmed police officer," Norway's Verdens Gang newspaper wrote.

Monica Bosei, who has worked at the Labour Party camp for more than 20 years, told Norwegian papers that she took a ferry with the shooter Breivik to the island of Utoya, but quickly became suspicious when the man dressed as a police officer wouldn't directly answer questions about the blast in Oslo.

After the ferry docked, Bosei ran over to Berntsen to point out the possible impostor, but Breivik spotted her and opened fire, shooting them both. Bosei survived the hit.

"He would not have been afraid to confront someone acting suspiciously even if they had a gun," Harald Olsen, a police union representative and friend of  Berntsen, is reported as saying in the Telegraph.

"My friend often worked at the camp. He is the sort of guy who would not be afraid to approach anyone and ask them what they were doing," he added.

Berntsen was the son of Princess Mette-Marit's mother's second husband.

"The crown princess’s thoughts go to his closest family," a palace spokesman told Dagbladet newspaper.

The 37-year-old princess, from Kristiansand in Norway's south, became a member of the royal family when she married Prince Haakon in 2001. The two met at a rock concert in her hometown. The royal couple have two children and a son from Mette-Marit's previous relationship.

Mette-Marit was seen breaking into tears at a service held for victims of the shootings in Oslo on Sunday. Her husband Prince Haakon participated in a peace rally on Monday night, telling the crowd of 100,000 plus "Tonight the streets are filled with love."

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