The incident has added to concerns over the region’s violent crime rate, which is increasing ten times faster than in Stockholm.
Around a hundred people were at the Heartbreak club in central Malmö when two men, the Dane and the 25 year old, began arguing by the cloakroom. According to Aftonbladet, both were known violent criminals with links to local motorcycle gangs.
“It became a real punch-up,” a witness told the paper. “Suddenly one of them pulled out a pistol and began shooting wildly. People threw themselves on the floor in panic.”
An employee of the nightclub said that the older man “emptied the gun” before calmly walking out. The victim apparently staggered out into the street where he died.
The third man, Henrik, was a former doorman at the nightclub. He was hit by two stray bullets and taken to the University Hospital in Malmö by ambulance. After an operation to remove the bullets he returned home on Saturday evening.
“Suddenly the 25 year old guy came running down the stairs,” explained Henrik. “He ran right at me. It was total chaos.”
Seconds later the 40 year old appeared with the gun in his hand and began shooting.
“I didn’t have time to think about what was going on,” Henrik continued. “It was just bang bang bang!”
Within minutes of the shooting police arrested the 40 year old a couple of blocks away from the club. While he admitted being involved in the brawl, he denied shooting the 25 year old.
He claimed that he was punched several times and hit over the head with a bottle. According to Wednesday’s Dagens Nyheter, he will claim self-defence if he is formally charged. The prosecutor in the case, Jenny Lindell was unimpressed, commenting: “Personally I think it’s strange for him to deny the crime.”
Late on Wednesday Sydsvenskan reported that police were questioning another man in connection with the murder. He is suspected of protecting a criminal, and at the time of writing the media was speculating that he disposed of the gun for the 40 year old.
The incident is part of an alarming trend in the Skåne region. In the last six years the number of reported cases of rape, assault, murder and manslaughter has risen by 21.7%, according to Aftonbladet. In Stockholm the increase is just 1.7%.
“It’s become hellish in the city,” said Lars-Göran Karlströmer, a police inspector in Malmö.