Police shoot pensioner on Gotland

Police on Monday evening shot an elderly man suspected in the earlier shooting of a 48-year-old man in a house north of Visby on the island of Gotland.

“The man came out with a weapon in his hand and the police fired,” said police in a statement.

According to police spokesperson Dan Paulsen, he was hit in the chest and in both thighs.

The 76-year-old suspect was then taken to hospital in Visby where he remains hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

According to the Aftonbladet newspaper, the man is a well-known figure in cultural and media circles who has made several feature length film in addition to working with Sveriges Television.

The police shooting came following a tense afternoon which began with a call around 2:00pm that a 48-year-old man had been shot three times in the back.

According to Paulsen, the shooting occurred after six people visited the 70-year-old man to “carry out an errand” but he wouldn’t specify the nature of the task.

“When they were done, the perpetrator shot one of them, first once, and then with two additional shots. The shooting victim and two others were able to leave through the door,” said Paulsen.

According to police, the 48-year-shooting victim was in stable condition at the Visby hospital, where he remains hospitalized for further observation.

The three others who remained in the house took refuge on a balcony as the drama unfolded. They were eventually evacuated by police shortly after 9:00pm.

When police moved in to arrest the 70-year-old shortly before 10:00pm, he emerged brandishing a weapon and fired on police.

The police returned fire, hitting the man three times.


Sweden steps up Baltic defence in ‘signal’ to Russia

Sweden's defence minister has said his country is carrying out military exercises in the Baltic Sea to 'send a signal' to countries including Russia.

Sweden steps up Baltic defence in 'signal' to Russia
Swedish troops on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland. Photo: Joel Thungren/Försvarsmakten/TT

The so-called “high readiness action” means the Swedish army, navy and air force are currently more visible in the southeastern and southern Baltic Sea and on the island of Gotland.

No details have been disclosed about the number of troops involved in the action.

Sweden is “sending a signal both to our Western partners and to the Russian side that we are prepared to defend Sweden's sovereignty,” Hultqvist told news agency TT.

Ground troops on Gotland. Photo: Bezhav Mahmoud/Försvarsmakten/TT

“There is currently extensive military activity in the Baltic Sea, conducted by Russian as well as Western players, on a scale the likes of which have not been seen since the Cold War,” the Swedish Armed Forces' Commander of Joint Operations, Jan Thörnqvist, said in a statement.

“The exercise activities are more complex and have arisen more rapidly than before. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic has caused global anxiety and uncertainty. Over all, the situation is more unstable and more difficult to predict,” Thörnqvist said.

A Visby-class corvette and two Jas Gripen jets in the air. Photo: Antonia Sehlstedt/Försvarsmakten/TT

Hultqvist said Sweden was also monitoring developments in Belarus “very closely”.

Non-Nato member Sweden, which has not been to war in two centuries and which slashed military spending at the end of the Cold War, reopened a garrison on Gotland in January 2018 amid concerns about Russian intentions in Europe and the Baltic.