Skåne police shooting 'a scandal'
TT/The Local · 26 Jan 2009, 14:55
Published: 26 Jan 2009 14:55 GMT+01:00
“This whole thing is a goddamn scandal, really. There was absolutely no damn reason to shoot him. He should have been hospitalized!” a neighbour of the victim told the TT news agency.
The 57-year-old man had threatened police with “a rather sizeable knife” when they arrived at the cabin where the man lived by himself, according to Skåne County police.
“It happened within seconds,” police spokesperson Ewa-Gun Westford told TT.
Police had been dispatched to the cabin after the man called Skåne emergency services at 8.30pm on Sunday evening complaining that he was tired of living and was armed with a gun.
Authorities had had previous dealings with the man, who they believed to be mentally ill.
The man reportedly moved into the neighbourhood in May of last year.
The man’s neighbour told TT news that the man suffered from terror and fear on a daily basis.
“He’s made threats, even murder threats. It’s been a real circus here, with the police and ambulance here almost every week,” he said.
The operator who took the call continued to talk to the man for some time but in the end decided to pass the call on to police.
Judging the incident to be "for real”, police decided to send several officers out to the man’s cabin near Trelleborg.
When police arrived shortly after 1am on Monday morning, they determined the man didn’t have a gun, but instead was sitting inside with several knives.
Two officers tested the outer door of the cabin and found it unlocked and then entered the cabin.
According to Westford, police didn’t have time to use other measures such as pepper spray or teargas to stop the man.
“The man came storming at them with a knife in his hands when a couple of officers entered his cabin. The police ordered him to put it down but instead he continued toward them,” she said.
“Then they opened fire. They fired three shots in rapid succession and the man fell to the cabin floor.”
Westford confirmed there were no other witnesses to the shooting other than the police.
While police attempted to resuscitate the man while waiting for an ambulance, their efforts were in vain.
“A doctor who arrived on the scene said the man died instantly,” said Westford.
The man's neighbour is outraged that the police ended up shooting and killing the man.
“They knew how he was, so I don’t understand why they went in there,” he told TT.