'People are dying here,' Norway teen texted mom

When a man opened fire at a Norway youth camp, Julie Bremnes, 16, hid behind rocks and exchanged a gripping series of text messages with her mother. "Tell the police that there is a madman running around and shooting people," she urged.
Norwegian teen Julie Bremnes was participating in a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utoya near Oslo when the massacre began on July 22. She hid behind rocks and texted her mother during the ordeal, which left 68 dead at the camp. (Norwegian Labour Party/Associated Press)

When a Norwegian man started shooting and killing people at a political youth camp on Utoya Island near Oslo, Julie Bremnes, 16, was among the teens who scrambled for cover. She hid behind rocks and called her mother, Marianne, urging her to call police.

Marianne Bremnes told CNN that Julie said, "Mom, don't panic but there's a gunman going loose here and shooting around, and you must call the police because I have tried and I can't reach them."

An unemployed Norwegian, Anders Behring Breivik, has confessed in court  to the July 22 attack. In total, 68 people died at the camp, many of them teenagers, and another eight in a bombing on the same day outside government headquarters in Oslo.

Bremnes was one of those who survived, without injuries. Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang published the text message exchange between Julie and her mother:


Julie: Mummy, tell the police that they must be quick. People are dying here!

 Mom: I’m working on it, Julie. The police are on their way. Dare you call me?

Julie: No.

Julie: Tell the police that there is a madman running around and shooting people.

Julie: They must hurry!

 Mom: The police know and they have had many calls. It is going well, Julie. Police are calling us now. Give us a sign of life every five minutes, please?

Julie: OK.

Julie: We are in fear for our lives.

 Mom: I understand that very well, my darling. Stay hidden, do not move anywhere! The police are already on their way, if they haven’t already arrived! Do you see anyone injured or killed?

Julie: We are hiding in the rocks along the coast.

 Mom: Good! Should I ask your grandfather to come down and pick you up when everything is safe again? You have the option.

Julie: Yes.

Mom: We will contact grandpa immediately.

Julie: I love you even if I still misbehave from time to time.

Julie: And I’m not panicking even if I’m shit-scared.

 Mom: I know that my darling. We love you too very much. Do you still hear shooting?

Julie: No.


 Mom: Have you heard anything from the other people from Tromso? Grandpa is on his way down.

Julie: The police are here.

 Mom: The person shooting is said to be in police uniform. Be careful! What happens to you now?


Julie: We do not know.

Mom: Can you talk now?

Julie: No. He is still shooting!

Mom: Joergen has swum to the shore. I just spoke to his father. This is everywhere on the national news now, all attention on Utoya now. Be careful! When you get the chance, you come to the mainland and stay with grandpa of Hamar.

Julie: I’m still alive.

Mom: And thanks and praise for that.

Julie: We are waiting to be picked up by the police. We heard shooting just now, so we dared not get up.

Mom: Good! Good, well done. The evacuation is now ongoing, they are saying on TV.

Julie: We hope we will be picked up by someone soon. Can they not catch him soon?!

Mom: The anti-terrorism unit is there and they are working on catching him.

Julie: OK.

Mom: Should we try to get the flight home tomorrow?

Julie: I have no time to think about that now.

Mom: I understand that.

Julie: Do you know if they have managed to catch him?

Mom: Will keep you posted, my darling. We are following everything on television.

Mom: Hey, are you there?

Julie: Yes. The helicopters are circling above us.

Mom: Then you should be OK?

Julie: They are looking for people in the water, we have not been picked up yet!


Julie: What are they saying in the news?

Mom: The police are also arriving by boat to Utoya, otherwise nothing new. It is not clear what’s happened to the shooter so keep still. Wait for someone to pick you up.

Mom: Now they have taken him!