Narsaq massacre

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Narsaq massacre
Narsaq is located in Southern Greenland
Narsaq (Southern Greenland)
Narsaq is located in Greenland
Narsaq (Greenland)
LocationNarsaq, Kujalleq, Greenland, Kingdom of Denmark
Coordinates60°54′44″N 46°2′55″W / 60.91222°N 46.04861°W / 60.91222; -46.04861
DateJanuary 1, 1990 (1990-01-01)
After 12:00 a.m. (UTC-03)
Attack type
Mass shooting
WeaponsRemington Model 552 BDL Semiautomatic rifle
Non-fatal injuries
1 (critical)
PerpetratorsAbel Klemmensen (aka. Abel Mikaelsen)

A mass shooting occurred during early morning on New Years Day on January 1, 1990 during a party in Narsaq of the municipality of Kujalleq in Greenland of the Kingdom of Denmark. Seven people were killed and one was critically wounded in the worst mass shooting in the autonomous constituent country's history.[1]


Greenland has a high murder rate and the highest suicide rate in the world.[2] The country has no closed prisons so people who commit serious crimes are often known to walk free unless they are transported to a Danish prison or another facility.[3] Narsaq, with around 2,000 people of mostly Inuit ethnicity, is one of the largest towns in Greenland. The town contains one small hospital and a police station. Greenland had 18 homicides in 1989.


Narsaq skyline from Qaaqarsuaq mountain.

During a New Years party after the turn of the year 1989 to 1990, student Abel Klemmensen got involved in a dispute with his best friend for taking the side of a girl he was angry at. Feeling betrayed, he then went home and later returned to the party with a semiautomatic rifle with the intention to kill all attendants of the party and commit suicide afterwards, the disgruntled perpetrator then opened fire in a boarding house complex in Ungbo, being used as a club, and aimed for people's heads.

In two rooms on the first floor he shot three women and four men, including his own brother, who was wounded by a shot through the cheek. While walking downstairs to the living room he shot a fourth woman, he had fired eleven rounds and hit all of his victims in the head.

Three men and two women died at the scene, while two more women died in the local hospital. All seven died from shots to the head, specifically the face, while another victim was critically wounded with another head or face injury from the weapon, after the tragedy, Klemmensen then went home to sleep, where he was later arrested by police and placed in custody.[4]


The man in custody was identified as an 18-year-old student who confessed to the killings, said police inspector Lars Heilman, the suspect's name was later released as Abel Klemmensen (ca. 1971). The crime scene was described as "gruesome" by the police. A team of police forensic scientists traveled to Narsaq from Copenhagen to investigate the killings, but were delayed by heavy snowfall, those killed, all Inuit, were identified only as three men, aged 18, 33 and 34, and four women, aged 18, 19, 26 and 29. The wounded man was only identified as a "22-year-old man in stable condition with head wounds".[5]

Klemmensen was later diagnosed as suffering from narcissitic personality disorder and was sentenced to indefinite detention at a psychiatric institution in March 1991. He is imprisoned in Herstedvester.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "WORLD : 7 Die in Greenland's Bloodiest Mass Shooting; Suspect Held - latimes". 1990-01-02. Retrieved 2017-02-20.
  2. ^
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  4. ^ "Seven people died after a disgruntled..." 1990-01-03. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
  5. ^