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CRIME

Suicide link in mother and child killing

Police in Stockholm who discovered a young woman and her infant son dead in an apartment late on Thursday night suspect the killings may be related to the suicide of a man who jumped in front of a train.

Police began looking for relatives of a man who killed himself by jumping in front of a Stockholm commuter train on Thursday afternoon. The search led them to an apartment in the suburbs to the south of the city.

Plain clothes officers entered the first-floor apartment by breaking a window at around 10pm on Thursday evening, and found the slain woman and her one-year-old son.

Forensic investigators continued to search the crime scene for clues on Friday morning, while colleagues knock on doors in the area in an effort to gather additional information about what police are investigating as a double homicide.

According to the police, much suggests that the man’s suicide and the double murder are related.

“In that way, they seem to be connected, but we’re still investigating. But just now there is much to suggest that a tragic relationship serves as the backdrop,” said Stockholm police spokesperson Mats Nylén to the TT news agency.

Nylén couldn’t say what the exact nature of the relationship was between those involved, nor would he divulge any details about how the woman and the infant were killed.

A neighbour who heard police break into the apartment where the two victims were found told TT that the young couple and child who lived there were pleasant and tranquil neighbours.

“I’ve never heard anything from their apartment. They were friendly neighbours who you greet and make small talk with. Ideal neighbours, I’d say,” she said.

“Now it feels really scary, partly because of being so close to something like this and partly because they were so easy-going and not the least bit out of the ordinary.”

CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.

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