DENVER (CBS4) – Leaders around the world are condemning the attacks in Norway and are offering their condolences. One Norwegian woman living in Colorado is now going to head home to visit family and mourn.

“It looks like a war zone in the Middle East. That’s not what Norway is like. I burst out crying when I saw the pictures,” Kristin Steinholt said. “It’s unthinkable that something like that can happen in Norway.”

Tragedy In Norway: Complete Coverage From CBS News

Steinholt may be living thousands of miles away from her native home, but her family and friends are now in the center of so much mourning and death.

“I tried to call my cousin in Oslo and couldn’t get a hold of him. I talked to my dad this morning and he’s in shock and said Norway is not the same country it was,” she said.

It was the worst case of terrorism in Norway since World War II.

Police believe the same man who sent a car bomb ripping through government buildings in Oslo went on a shooting rampage 20 miles away on an island where hundreds of teenagers were attending a camp organized by the country’s ruling Labor Party.

Steinholt says Norway has historically been a peaceful county.

“We have a lot of political asylists who are accepted in Norway and so over the years it’s created a different climate, especially in Oslo, because that’s where a lot of them end up.

“(It’s) much like 9/11, this is a huge wakeup call for Norway. In the U.S. there are acts of violence. It’s not easy but it happens often. In Norway it doesn’t happen, so we’re not equipped to deal with something like this emotionally.”

Steinholt will be traveling back to Norway on Monday to visit family. It’s a trip now in the shadow of so much carnage.

“It’ll still be good to be home, but instead of it being a fun, joyful vacation with family, this is going to be all over the media and it’s a small country, and a small community, essentially. So this is going to be permeating everything when I’m home and it will just be a sense of mourning while I’m there.”


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