Why Did News Helicopters Hit the Norwegian Island Massacre Before Police? (Updated)

Amid all the confusion surrounding last week's horrific Norwegian domestic terror attack, one small technical curiosity: how were media helicopters able to catch the criminal at Utøya before police? Aeronautics buff David Cenciotti thinks he has an answer.

Cenciotti thinks the phenomenon—although surprising—can be easily explained. Simply, news choppers are always in the air anyway, and can be easily diverted in the case (and in the interest of) of breaking news. But he wonders: does the arrival of media before law enforcement change the dynamics of a terrorist attack? Might a criminal be prompted towards further violence or destruction if he knew he had the eyes of the world on him? Is it some form of tampering with a crime scene?

Either way, it seems a more than a bit embarrassing for Norwegian police that they were smoked on the way to Utøya so readily. As pictured above, the gunman was out in the open when news aircraft arrived. Had it been a cop inside instead of a cameraman, lives might have been saved. [David Cenciotti]

Update: Well, this explains things. A news chopper reached the scene before a police chopper because there was no police chopper. Shockingly, Norway, with the second highest per-capita GDP in the world, didn't have any police transport helicopter available in its capital, reports DagensNaeringsliv.