The news that a man had been arrested the shooting caused shockwaves across the Swedish and Scandinavian media on Thursday, as the city of Malmö remained on edge following a spate of up to 20 shootings directed at people with immigrant backgrounds.
At a press conference on Wednesday morning Malmö police however confirmed that there was no connection to the wave of shootings, and was instead an isolated incident of attempted murder.
“It concerns two incidents of attempted murder. We have a feasible motive,” said Ulf Sempert at Malmö police.
The 24-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of attempted murder for shootings which took place in the Lindhagen district of the city on October 20th.
Two people were injured in connection with the shootings.
Furthermore it was explained that the news of the 24-year-old’s arrest was released to underline that the police continue to work with other incidents of gun crime, despite the allocation of massive resources to the serial shootings case.
The police underlined that the investigation into the spate of shootings was ongoing, but wasn’t expected to be concluded anytime soon.
Malmö police also commented the news that criminal gangs had become involved in the search for the gunman that has kept the city’s multi-ethnic population on edge.
“This is nothing that we like. Those who act risk committing crimes. The risk is that those who form groups do not have the same requirements on proof that we have. It is completely unacceptable with some form of vigilance committee,” said Börje Sjöholm at Skåne police.
The Malmö shootings have been widely covered in the international press since the link was made to the Laser Man attacks of the early 1990s last week and police confirmed that they were investigating a racist motive.
The news on Thursday of the arrest of the 24-year-old was reported with the same coverage, with Danish newspapers for example quick on the uptake.
“I am conscious that the information which was initially sent out could have been clearer,” said Lars Mahler at Malmö police.
Laser Man was the nickname given to John Ausonius, who shot 11 people of immigrant origin, killing one, in and around Stockholm from August 1991 to January 1992.
Ausonius, who in many of the attacks used a rifle equipped with a laser sight, was sentenced to life behind bars in 1994 and remains in prison.
Just as with the Laser Man case, the recent shootings in Malmö come at a time when an openly anti-immigration party has just entered the Swedish parliament.
This year, the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats won 20 seats in parliament in the September 19th election with a particularly strong showing in the south of Sweden.