• Sweden edition
 
Malmö still in fear as gunman remains at large
Malmö's Nazer Yazdanpanah outside his tailor shop and salon on Sunday

Malmö still in fear as gunman remains at large

Published: 29 Oct 2010 11:01 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Oct 2010 11:01 GMT+02:00

It was already dark outside as Nazer Yazdanpanah stood studying his reflection in the back room window of his tailor shop, ironing the day's last pair of trousers, when he suddenly heard a loud crack and the pane in front of him shattered.

"I was angry. I thought someone was throwing rocks at my window," explains Yazdenpanah, who immediately ran out and grabbed his attacker, holding on until he was head-butted in the teeth and forced to let go.

After the encounter, the 57-year-old tailor was rattled and called the police. But it was not until an officer pulled two bullets out of his window frame that he realised he may have been the target of a man police suspect has been shooting at people of immigrant origin in Malmö for more than a year.

Panic has spread in the southern Swedish city since police announced last week they were investigating whether a lone shooter with racist motives was behind some 15 attacks, killing one person and injuring many others, and may even have committed unsolved murders dating as far back as 2003.

"I am so scared. I won't leave my house after 4pm. All my friends feel the same," says Hodan Imi, 31, wearing a white and purple headscarf topped with a floral hairband.

Standing with a group of other Somali women enjoying the late autumn sun in the centre of Rosengård, a heavily immigrant Malmö suburb made up of rows of towering concrete and yellow brick high rises, Imi, who has been in Sweden for about a decade, helps translate for the newcomers.

"There is war back home in Somalia, but here I am more afraid," says Naima, 56, who wears a long, red hijab and who came to Sweden seven months ago.

"There, I knew who was dangerous, but here it could be anybody," she says.

"I keep looking over my shoulder."

The recent crimes bear a chilling similarity to the case of an immigrant-shooting sniper in Stockholm in the early 1990s, and the Swedish press has quickly dubbed the Malmö shooter "the new laser man."

"Laser Man" was the nickname given to John Ausonius, who shot 11 people of immigrant origin, killing one, around Stockholm from August 1991 to January 1992.

Ausonius, who got his nickname by initially using rifle equipped with a laser sight, was sentenced to life behind bars in 1994 and remains in prison.

Unlike Ausonius, the Malmö shooter does not appear to use a laser sight rifle, but police say the same gun has been used for several of the shootings, including the attack on the only known ethnic Swedish victim.

Trez Persson, 20, was killed last October when someone fired numerous shots into the car she was sitting in with a friend, a man of immigrant origin, who was seriously injured in the attack.

In the past month alone, numerous shootings appear linked to the case, including two men shot in the back, a week apart, as they waited alone in the dark at separate, isolated bus stops.

One of the bus stops lies across the street from Yazdenpaneh's tailor shop, which has remained open and where he welcomes a constant stream of well-wishers and journalists.

Standing in his small, cramped shop amid racks of cloths awaiting repair, Yazdenpanah, who fled to Sweden 21 years ago from Iran, wipes tears from his eyes as he nods towards several large bouquets of flowers that seem to reflect the spools of colourful thread piled nearby.

"I can't thank the Swedish people enough for their support," he says with a smile that reveals the tooth chipped in his struggle last Friday.

As if on cue, the shop door jingles open and 73-year-old Anna Christiansson rushes in and hugs Yazdenpanah, who she has never met before.

"I'm here to support you against that bastard!" she says.

"Sweden is not supposed to be this way."

Observers have been quick to point out that, just as when the "Laser Man" was terrorising Stockholm more than two decades ago, the shootings in Malmö come at a time when an openly anti-immigration party has entered the Swedish parliament.

Last month, the far-right Sweden Democrats won 20 seats in parliament, while the anti-immigration New Democracy party made a short parliamentary appearance during the time the Laser Man was active.

But Malmö's deputy mayor Katrin Stjernfeldt-Jammeh insists there is no connection between the shootings and the heightened immigration debate.

"This is not a question of integration... It is Malmö inhabitants, regardless of their background, who are getting shot," she stresses.

Police have set up a special taskforce and profiling unit to deal with the case and Stjernfeldt-Jammeh says she is "optimistic" the shooter will soon be behind bars.

Police however tell the hordes of mainly Swedish, but also Norwegian and Danish journalists who cram into a small room at the police station for daily updates that despite hundreds of tips from the public, little is known of the attacker.

According to a preliminary profile, the shooter is believed to be a man aged 20 to 40 who probably uses some mode of transportation, perhaps a bike, to flee the scenes of his crimes.

As police scramble for more concrete information, rumours abound that criminal gangs have launched their own hunt for "the new laser man."

Without confirming the information, regional police chief Börje Sjöholm on Thursday cautioned people against taking the law into their own hands, stressing that "the danger is that such groups won't have the same evidence requirements as us ... innocent people could get hurt."

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

01:01 October 30, 2010 by mikewhite
TYPO in article, should be "hordes" of journalists.
23:17 October 30, 2010 by giltedged
Has this fear reduced the number of rapes by immigrants on Swedes?
23:47 October 30, 2010 by Tanskalainen
His official name is Nazer Yazdanpaneh but all the women call him Floppsi Mopsi.
08:14 November 1, 2010 by Kevtravels
sounds like a crime novel gone awry
09:55 November 1, 2010 by Iraniboy
@giltedged

This vile murderer was someone like you who believed and spreaded his LIES and propagandas but he is no longer satisfied with his vile obsession of just hating immigrants. He is not a muderer. You're just one step behind!
15:51 November 1, 2010 by Sam1
If the immigrants is not the issue. One should not oppose immigrants.

but the problems we see are from are from radical religion.

I really do not know why Sweden is accepting (THOSE radical religions with long beards and crap)

Otherwise immigrants from other background are just like any Swedish citizens.

those blood suckers are not and are indeed a threat.
12:01 November 2, 2010 by Scambaiter
To idiots like "giltedged" who claim that crime and rape didn't exist in Sweden in "the good old days before Arab immigration".

No lads, instead we had Sven Svenne in his stuga getting shitfaced on moonshine and then abusing his wife and kids. Paedophilia and homophobia didn't exist of course, back in the good old days...not. Nor murder, bank robbery, car theft, drug crimes, etc etc. Each and every Swede that has ever been born is a law-abiding citizen who never drinks and drives or fiddles his taxes.

What a bunch of baloney.

SD claim that the "rape rate has gone up" but the truth is this is because women are far more likely to report it that 20 years ago, and because the courts are far more likely to convict the rapist, plus there is less stigma attached to being a rape victim. Of course, in the good old days when Pelle raped his wife it was filed under domestic abuse or kept under wraps.

And another fact is that reported violent crime has actually been going down in Sweden, although it gets far more publicity in the media of course...especially if the perpetrator is a foreigner. How convenient for the rabble rousers.

Remember John Hron?...beaten up by nazis = SD and dumped in a lake to drown. Or the African guy who had his head used as a football the same year...the list is endless.

PS...Notorious Swedish mass murderers, rapists and serial killers

Mattias Flink (incarcerated)

John Ausonius (incarcerated)

Helge Fossmö (incarcerated)

Tomas Quick (incarcerated)

Anders Eklund (incarcerated)

Jackie Arklöv (kom som adoptivbarn till Sverige som 3-åring)

Tore Hedin (died 1952)

Niklas Lindgren (incarcerated)

Hampus Hellekant (incarcerated Nazi)

last but not least...the Orebro mass rapist (not convicted, but ethnic Swedish)
23:07 November 2, 2010 by Sam1
Scambaiter@

What is nice about you is you do not generalise, We can't just think in one narrow way.

Crime is being committed by human beings wether blond or black or asian or middle easteren.

Its nice that you have done research to show people that they are not angels, and I do hope that everything becomes allright in Sweden.

That Crime is reduced.

Sd is removed.

Immigrants all get very well integrated into society and respect the country.

Sweds get to know that there are other human beings on this earth

No one is an angel all humans do mistakes.

And first and foremost we all work together to remove extremism hate racism and fanatism in a nice decent way.

last request to reduce illegal immigration and create more opportunities for all so they work and every one is willing to work..because 18 thousand crown is much better than a 2800 SEK a month..one you can buy things other you hardly buy your food...thank God I have never needed.
15:34 November 12, 2010 by Icarusty
@giltedged You retard. Rapists, whites or otherwise, won't give a damn about this. It will scare the 99% of immigrants who are trying to get on with their daily life though. As you may have noticed in the article (before he was found), gangs (presumably of immigrant origin) were hunting for the killer - increasing the risk of a lone female getting raped.
Today's headlines
Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

Neo-Nazi attacks
Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian
Police intervene after neo-Nazis attack an anti-Nazi rally in Kärrtorp, December 2013. Photo: Hampus Andersson/TT

Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian

A Stockholm court has cleared three neo-Nazis of stabbing a Nigerian man in an unprovoked attack. But two of the men will face jail after they were convicted of racial agitation at a riot. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange court ruling expected on Monday
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange court ruling expected on Monday

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can expect the next court ruling on his case to take place on Monday October 27th in Stockholm. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Politics
Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at an EU summit in Brussels this week. Photo: TT

Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'

Sweden is set to get 1.2 billion kronor ($168 million) back from the EU on December 1st, according to leaked EU documents which suggest that other European countries will have to make large top-up payments this year. READ  

Science
Asteroids leave mark on Sweden
Astroids can leave marks like these. Photo: TT

Asteroids leave mark on Sweden

Some 458 million years ago, Earth was whacked in a double asteroid strike, leaving craters visible in Sweden today, space scientists have reported. READ  

New coalition
New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Green Party leader Åsa Romson. Photo: TT

New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget

UPDATED: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Social Democrat-led coalition has revealed its first budget proposal, listing plans to spend more than 20 billion kronor. READ  

Royal family
Swedish royal couple set wedding date
The couple pictured in the summer. Photo: TT

Swedish royal couple set wedding date

Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist, who got engaged earlier this year, have announced they will marry next June. READ  

Analysis
Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: TT

Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'

There is talk that the nationalist Sweden Democrats could trigger a fresh election, by rejecting the new coalition's budget. But leading Political Scientist Li Bennich Björkman tells The Local that the party is just game-playing and should be focusing on getting its fatigued leader back. READ  

Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Chocolate and liquorice are on the menu in Gothenburg this weekend. Photo: Shutterstock

What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st

A secret gig in Stockholm, a short film festival in Uppsala and a gastronomy event in Gothenburg have caught our eye this week. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

979
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN