Iceland's Police Shoot And Kill Suspect For First Time Ever

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An armed police operation in Iceland has resulted for the first time in a death when police in the country's capital shot and killed a man Monday.

The unnamed victim, a man in his late 50s, was said to have been firing a shotgun inside his apartment and out of the windows Monday morning in east Reykjavik. Repeated attempts to calm him, in addition to a tear gas canister lobbed into his room, had been unsuccessful, reports the Agence France-Presse.

In a news conference, national police chief Haraldur Johannessen told the BBC the incident is "without precedent." It is the first time an armed police operation in the country has resulted in a death.

"Police regret this incident and would like to extend their condolences to the family of the man," added Johannessen.

Euronews reports that two Icelandic police officers were wounded in the operation, neither of them seriously. The suspect was removed on a stretcher and pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Iceland enjoys a low crime rate -- a unique product of its large, stable middle class and its thorough screening requirements for gun permits, among other elements, per an earlier report by the BBC

A report from GunPolicy.org found Iceland suffered 4 deaths as a result of firearms in 2009, the last year for which data was available. By comparison, the United States had 31,347 that same year. That breaks down to 1.25 gun deaths per 100,000 people in Iceland, and 10.22 per 100,000 in the U.S.

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