• Sweden edition
 
Stockholm cop charged over 'cowboy' shootout

Stockholm cop charged over 'cowboy' shootout

Published: 03 Oct 2012 07:14 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Oct 2012 07:14 GMT+02:00

Criminal charges were filed on Tuesday against a Stockholm police officer who shot wildly at a gang of thieves as they attempted to flee after robbing a jewellery shop in March. It later emerged that the thieves never filed a single shot.

The officer was charged with reckless endangerment for his actions in the incident which resulted in ten shots being fired into the Metropolis gym on Birger Jarlsgatan while several innocent bystanders looked on in horror.

"The reception area was shot to pieces. Right where we were standing, three or four shots came in," Pernilla Gunnskog, a personal trainer who worked at the gym, told the TT news agency.

Gunnskog and two colleagues were standing at the gym's reception desk on March 6th of this year when they heard a loud bang.

"I pulled the other girls to the floor. It was a survival instinct. Then things started popping like crazy. Pieces of bananas from our fruit bowl were flying and so were pieces from the wall. My first thought was that someone was on their way into the gym to shoot us," she said.

All told, the incident resulted in 18 shots being fired by police, who where later criticized for acting like "American cowboys".

On Tuesday, a 33-year-old officer who fired 12 shots – ten of which went into the gym – was charged with reckless endangerment.

According to the indictment, his actions put the lives of the women in the gym at risk.

"The women were in the line of fire. They would have been hit if they had remained standing where they were first standing," prosecutor Håkan Roswall told TT.

The three robbers, who were later sentenced to prison, didn't have real weapons, but had instead pointed a starting pistol at police, who then responded with live fire.

The attorney for the officer who has been charged told TT that his client denies committing any crime.

"A robber pointed his weapon straight at him. He has the right to defend himself and his colleagues," said defence attorney Peter Althin to TT.

According to Althing, the 33-year-old officer didn't realize there was a gym behind the robbers or that there were people inside.

Included in the evidence are film clips recorded by other witnesses to the shooting. The prosecutor intends to show that the officer who has been charged could have taken cover behind parked cars.

TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

08:02 October 3, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
The police officer's shooting was admitedly reckless, and could have led to friendly fire casulties (for which the criminals would have to accept some part of the blame, or possibly all of it), and extra training and discipline might help out here, but the prosecutor's suggestion that the police officer should have run and hid behind a car makes no sense.

First of all you cannot outrun a bullet, and secondly if a criminal is in a crowded area, and is pointing a gun at police officers or others as if he intends to shoot them, why can't a police sharp shooter put down the threat to himself and his colleagues and the public?

If that Brazilian idiot got hold of a gun , and if all the police and security that stood between him and the King 'hid behind cars' because Gamla Stan is full of tourists and shops, then the nation's flags might have been at half mass this week for the King's state funeral.
09:24 October 3, 2012 by engagebrain
Reason wrote

' why can't a police sharp shooter put down the threat'

Their performance suggests they were not sharpshooters.
09:58 October 3, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ #2

Agree. My main point is that I do not want violent criminals, who already have every posiible advantage on their side in this country, to have an added comfort of knowing that if policeman shoots toward them and misses, that policeman could be arrested and lose his/her job.

The criminal pointed a weapon at an armed police officer and should have been prepared to face the consequences of that act.. Thinking to more serious possibilities, if there is a Mumbai style attack, I do not want all the policemen and military to 'hide behind cars', for fear that they will be arrested for firing at criminals or terrorists.

And why is their talk of dimissal of this police officer when ambulance drivers face no dismissal threat after gross derreliction of duty, by making a 90 second shift change in what might have been the middle of someone's heart attack?
10:24 October 3, 2012 by RobinHood
Swedish police are notorious for blasting away at the slightest provocation. In Gothenburg, they once shot a drunk on a bus. Film taken during the EU meeting riots shows a policeman firing an entire clip randomly into a crowd of people. They once shot dead a mentally disturbed man in front of his mother. She had called the police for a bit of support in calming him down. The police arrived and while she begged them to leave, they killed her son. I once saw the police arrest a man at gunpoint while he was filling his car with petrol; firearms and tens of thousands of litres of petrol in a public place are not good bedfellows, and in my army, any soldier who did such a reckless thing would have been courtmarshalled, imprisoned and cashiered. As for the policewoman who left her weapon in the toilet at IKEA; well ..........

There seems to be minimum training, minimum supervision and usually no consequences for poor judgement, or unstable personalities. I have received extensive training with firearms, and recommend that readers keep as much distance, and as many solid objects as possible between themself and any Swedish policeman holding a firearm.
11:09 October 3, 2012 by Viking1
How do you file a shot?
12:46 October 3, 2012 by Borilla
Just another example of the ill-trained Swedish police at work. As long as the system remains as it is there will be no end to such incidents. The "defense" that the policeman did not know there was a gym behind the criminals when he started blasting away is ridiculous. This was Birger Jarlsgatan! There is some facility exposing citizens to such danger everywhere. Regardless of the trigger-happy comments, police have no right to start shooting (even returning fire, if there is danger to the public by doing so. Clearly, the ones who were not in danger of being hit were the criminals. For those concerned about Dead-eye Dick, the policeman, remember that this is Sweden. He is in no more danger from the judiciary than is a criminal. Even less, because the old boy network will take care of him.
20:52 October 3, 2012 by DAVID T
He should be fired for being a bad shot - 18 shots fired and they manage to miss all 3 robbers?
08:32 October 7, 2012 by woodywood
@ Robinhood

Petrol and standard hand gun ammo are fine, no spark and it is not so easy to just light it on fire and have a "Hollywood" explosion. Get your facts straight before popping off as some Army expert...

The officers have the right to shoot at anyone who is holding a gun, if said gun is a start pistol, they can check before they start shooting.

Also, if they don't hit their mark with their shots it is probably because they were simply sending a lot of rounds their way in a "supressive fire" manner. Something I can understand when you think you are going to be shot.
Today's headlines
Police seeking missing Swede in London
Sofie Marie Jansson, who is currently missing in London. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
A Swedish Easter witch holding daffodils. File photo: TT

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter

In India, I'd notice Easter only from the traffic jam outside the churches, but here witches, egg hunts, and feathers mark the Christian holiday. The Local's Deepti Vashisht brings you the various shades of Swedish Easter. READ () »

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Chemtrails?: Shutterstock.

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe

A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied. READ () »

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid
Fredrik Reinfeldt answers the constitutional affairs committee's questions. Photo: TT

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid

Sweden's prime minister on Thursday said Vattenfall itself, not its owners the Swedish state, had responsibility for the loss-making Nuon deal. READ () »

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer
Photo: TT

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer

A Swedish lawyer says the Swedish military may have broken the law when it raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
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 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

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

771
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