Narsaq massacre

The Narsaq massacre was a mass shooting on 1 January 1990, during a party in Narsaq, a southern Greenland town in the municipality of Kujalleq, 250 miles (400 km) south of the island's capital of Nuuk. Seven people were killed and one was critically wounded in the worst mass shooting in the autonomous constituent country's history.[1]

Narsaq massacre
Narsaq is located in Greenland
LocationNarsaq, Kujalleq, Greenland
Coordinates60°54′44″N 46°2′55″W / 60.91222°N 46.04861°W / 60.91222; -46.04861
Date1 January 1990 (1990-01-01)
Attack type
Mass shooting
WeaponsRemington Model 552
PerpetratorAbel Klemmensen


Greenland has a high murder rate and the highest suicide rate in the world.[2] The country only has one closed prison, Ny Anstalt which is located in Nuuk, so people who commit serious crimes are often known to walk free unless they are transported to Ny Anstalt, a Danish prison or another facility.[3] Narsaq, with around 1,300 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.


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 narcissistic personality disorder and was sentenced to indefinite detention at a psychiatric institution in March 1991. He is imprisoned in Herstedvester.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "WORLD : 7 Die in Greenland's Bloodiest Mass Shooting; Suspect Held - latimes". 2 January 1990. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Fewer people murdered in Greenland | The Post". Archived from the original on 28 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Land where killers are free to go hunting". 13 September 1999.
  4. ^ "Seven people died after a disgruntled..." 3 January 1990. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Seven killed, one wounded in shooting spree".