NUUK, Greenland -- A rifle-toting young man opened fire at a boarding house complex in an Eskimo hamlet, killing seven people and seriously wounding one other in Greenland's bloodiest mass shooting, police said Tuesday.
The 18-year-old suspect, whose name was not released, was in custody and has confessed to Monday's shooting spree in Narsaq, a southern Greenland town of almost 2,000 people located 250 miles south of the island's capital of Nuuk, police inspector Lars Heilman told United Press International.
Greenland, the world's largest island, is a home-rule territory of Denmark. It has an overwhelmingly Inuit, or Eskimo, population of 54,000. The suspect and the victims are all believed to be Inuit.
Heilman said five of the victims died at the scene and two others died hours later in a local hospital.
'Those who were killed and those wounded were all shot in the head with a rifle,' said Heilman, who did not release the suspect's identity.
'It was gruesome. They were all shot in the face with a rifle. Five of them died immediately. It appears there had been a party, but we have no immediate indication as to the motive for the killings,' Heilman said. 'This is the worst tragedy of its type ever in Greenland,' he said.
There were 18 homicides in Greenland all of last year.
Those killed Monday were three men, ages 18, 33 and 34, and four women, ages 18, 19, 26 and 29. Their identities were not released. A 22-year-old man was hospitalized in stable condition with head wounds.
A team of police forensic scientists was traveling to Narsaq from Copenhagen Tuesday to investigate the killings, but was not expected to arrive until Wednesday due to heavy snowfall.
Firearms are widespread in the country, where much of the population lives from fishing and hunting seal.