Marianne Bremnes received the kind of message that a mother dreads.
“Mummy, tell the police to come quick. People are dying here,” her 16-year-old daughter Julie wrote in a text message from Norway’s Utoya island on Friday.
Like many of the young people attending a Labor Party camp on the island, Julie Bremnes was carrying a cell phone, enabling her to reach her mom while Anders Berhing Breivik was on a 90-minute shooting rampage, killing dozens of people. Her exchange with her mother, released on Wednesday, gives a glimpse into the long, terrifying wait for help.
“The police know,” Marianne Bremnes, 46, texted her daughter. “They’ve had many calls. Give a sign of life every five minutes.”
Julie, was hiding under a rock with three friends while Breivik roamed the island, shooting people as they cowered, ran, or tried to swim for safety.
“We are in fear of our lives,” Julie texted.
Mother: “I understand. Stay hidden.”
As the wait for rescue dragged on, the text conversation seemed a preparation for the worst.
Julie: “I love you even if I still misbehave from time to time."
Mother: “I know that my darling. We love you very much.”
The exchange went on for about 90 minutes.
Julie and her three friends were rescued, physically unharmed.
Many others were not as fortunate.
Breivik shot to death 68 people on the island, and injured many more. Breivik also detonated a bomb at a Norwegian government building in Oslo earlier in the day, killing 8 others before travelling to the island, about 28 miles away.
Adrian Pracon, 21, said members at the camp were gathering for a meeting, to discuss the news of the bombing earlier in the day, which was also carried out by Breivik before he came to the island.
Pracon was shot in the shoulder as he lay among the bodies, hoping to be mistaken for one of the dead.
“I knew it was over,” he told NBC’s Martin Fletcher from his hospital bed. “I knew I was going to die now.”
He said that there were long spells of silence while Breivik was searching for people in hiding, broken occasionally by bursts of gunfire and screams.
“(Breivik) also screamed out that he would kill us all," Pracon said. "That this was the day we would die out,” said Pracon.
On Wednesaday, the Daily Mail reported that the Breivik had consumed a cocktail of drugs prior to his attack in order to be "strong and efficient," according to the defense lawyer. Breivik had plotted to inject poison into the bullets during the attack, though it was unclear whether he had actually done so. He wore a police uniform to draw young campers to him, and appeared in total control during the island rampage, police official Odd Reidar Humlegaard said.
Some of the last-minute cell phone exchanges among loved ones would prove to be their last.
Gunnar Linaker, 23, was speaking by cell phone to his father Roald Linaker in Bardu in northern Norway when the mayhem began.
"He said to me: 'Dad, dad, someone is shooting,' and then he hung up," Roald Linaker said.
Gunnar Linaker was shot and later died in the hospital, having never regained consciousness.