Arizona's Norwegian-Americans react to tragedy in Oslo

Posted: Updated:

MESA, Ariz. - When Bill Bultinck and his wife Wendy Winkelman heard about two attacks striking Oslo, Norway Friday morning, the first thing they did was email friends and relatives there.

Bultinck and Winkelman are both Norwegian-American and serve as leaders in local chapters of the international Sons of Norway organization.

Last year they hosted a Norwegian exchange student, Hannah, who's mother, Helen Bjornhold emailed that they were safe, but devastated.

"She emailed me back she said 'Dear Bill and Wendy, thank you for your concern," said Bultnick, "this is absolutely surreal, we are all safe at home and the news about the shooting at the youth camp really makes this situation unbelievable...terror has now reached our little outpost country."

On Friday morning Oslo, the city known for the Nobel Peace center, was rocked by two attacks.

First an explosion killed seven at a building in downtown Oslo. Right after that, a gunman posing as a police officer went to a youth summer camp on a nearby island an opened fire. By Friday night the death toll was at 80.

Police arrested a 32-year old man in connection with both attacks. Norwegian media identified him as Anders Behring Breivik. His motive was unclear.

"In 2006 Wendy and I were walking down the streets of Oslo, couldn't find a better place in the world, and now to see the damage from the bombings and stuff, it's just, it reminds me of 9-11 over here," said Bultnick.