Breivik Survivor: A Friend Took My Bullet

May 23rd, 20125:49 pm @


Andrine Johansen

Andrine Johansen, whose friend jumped in front of a bullet to save her

4:47pm UK, Wednesday May 23, 2012

Trygve Sorvaag in Oslo

A teenage girl who survived after being shot by Anders Behring Breivik has told of how a friend saved her life by throwing himself in front of her as the Norwegian mass killer sprayed bullets indiscriminately.

Andrine Johansen described how 18-year-old friend Henrik Rasmussen took her bullet and died on Utoya island in Norway.

“As he (Breivik) was about to shoot me, a boy jumped out and took the shot,” Andrine said with tears in her eyes.

Andrine leapt into the water by a pump house in an attempt to get away from Breivik, but was shot in her chest.

“I jumped in the water. I saw him shoot others. Then he shot me in my chest. I saw blood pumping out of my body. It was difficult to breathe and I almost drowned in my own blood,” she said.

Ylva Helen Schwenke

Ylva Helen Schwenke was shot several times

Andrine told Oslo district court how she watched Breivik shout out in joy as he killed people at close range by the pump house. One by one he shot them in the head.

“He held the gun only 10cm from their heads as they played dead,” she said.

Surrounded by floating bodies, face down, she thought about her own funeral.

“I considered writing ‘white’ on my jumper using my blood – just to tell people that I wanted a white coffin,” she said.

She managed to swim back to the island where she crawled over to a friend, saying: “You do not have to play dead anymore.” But he was dead.

The 18-year-old described in graphic detail the horrific view of her dead friends.

“For a long time I could not eat anything colored red. It reminded me too much of blood and brain matter,” she said.

She still has part of the bullet in her body. It is too risky to remove it as it is near the spinal cord.

Another survivor, Ylva Helene Schwenke, was 14 when she was shot several times by Breivik in the stomach, throat and both legs.

We see another girl get shot. We hear him (Breivik) walk and breath and hiss – I thought it was like Voldemort in Harry Potter.

Tarjel Jensen Bech, Utoya survivor

Ylva Helene Schwenke was 14 when she was shot several times by Breivik in the stomach, throat and both legs.

The girl was with a group of friends on a cliff below an area known as “Lovers’ Path” when the shooting began.

Ylva said: “We ran to Lovers’ Path. I felt a bullet just over my shoulder. I thought to myself ‘someone is actually shooting’.

“My eyesight is bad. I lost my glasses when I was shot, but it didn’t matter too much as I was lying next to a friend who was shot in the head.

“I was sure I was going to die. I know people die after one bullet in the movies. I was shot four times.

“I was just waiting for total whiteness or blackness, but nothing happened. I was still alive.”

Now 15, she appeared in court with clearly visible scars on her neck.

The teenager said: “I have no problems displaying my scars. I see it as a victory. We have paid a price for democracy and we have won.”

:: See a timeline of Breivik’s trial

Another survivor, Tarjel Jensen Bech (20), described seeing Breivik dressed as a policeman shooting his friends at the island cafe before he fled for safety in the surrounding forest.

Tarjel Jensen Bech, survivor of Breivik's Utoya massacre.

Tarjel Jensen Bech, survivor of Breivik’s Utoya massacre

Tarjel said: “We see another girl get shot. We hear him (Breivik) walk and breath and hiss – I thought it was like Voldemort in Harry Potter.”

When asked by defence lawyer Geir Lippestad how Breivik had appeared during the shootings Tarjel replied: “he (Breivik) seemed determined on the task to ‘take us’.”

Breivik smiled as he heard himself described as Harry Potter’s evil nemesis from the films.

He showed little emotion during the proceedings, also smiling when another survivor called him a “nitwit”.

”We heard several screams and “pang, pang, pang”, and we understood it was this ‘nitwit’,” she said from the witness box, nodding towards Breivik who was sitting just a few metres away.

The packed courtroom has already heard from 30 teenagers who described in harrowing detail how they survived Breivik’s bullets, but are still haunted by his smile.

Breivik’s attack on the island of Utoya during a summer camp for young Norwegians from the country’s Labour party claimed the lives of 69 people.

Before embarking on his shooting rampage, Breivik bombed the Government building that houses the Prime Minister’s offices in Oslo, killing eight people.

Breivik, 33, has been charged with committing “acts of terror” but although he admits he carried out the attacks, he refuses to plead guilty, insisting they were “cruel but necessary”.

Read below to see how the day’s evidence unfolded:

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