Malmö shooter suspect remanded in custody

The 38-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder in connection with the shootings in Malmö was formally remanded into custody by the city's district court on Tuesday.

Malmö shooter suspect remanded in custody

The man, named as Peter Mangs by the Expressen daily on Tuesday, is suspected of murder and five cases of attempted murder. He denied all charges in the hearing at lunchtime on Tuesday.

There was massive interest in the case at the court, with up to 70 people attending the hearing which was held in the court’s security chamber, including journalists from Denmark, Norway and Finland.

Mangs was driven by car to the hearing with a street behind the court cordoned off and a large number of police officers in attendance.

The prosecutor asked for non-disclosure, which is a more stringent restriction than confidentiality of investigations and meaning that details of court proceedings may not be revealed.

The court ruled that Mangs should be remanded into custody on probable cause – the highest level of suspicion under Swedish police guidelines.

According to Expressen, police have concluded after tests that at least one of the weapons licensed to Mangs matches bullet fragments found at one or more of the shootings of which he is suspected.

Skåne police spokesperson, Ewa-Gun Westford, declined to confirm the report.

Prosecutor Solveig Wollstad confirmed at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon that suspicions against the man had strengthened and that he remains suspected for a further two attempted murders which were not addressed in the remand hearing.

Wollstad added that she was required to bring charges before November 23rd, but added that this would not happen and that an extension of the remand ruling would be sought.

Peter Mangs was arrested on Saturday after a tip from a member of the public. Police have confirmed only his age, that he “has a Swedish background” and that he does not have any previous criminal convictions.

A possible motive for the attacks has not been released by the police, but Mangs’ father was quoted by the Aftonbladet daily on Monday as saying that his son “lived in fear of immigrants taking over Swedish society.”

Police are working on up to 20 unsolved shootings that they believe may have been deliberately targeting people with immigrant backgrounds in the city. The suspect has been remanded in connection with six of the cases.

The murder occurred on October 10th 2009, when 20-year-old Trez Persson. The five attempted murders occurred, according to court documents, from October 10th 2009 to August 2010.

Malmö police have issued calls to the public to assist with information pertaining to the case.

The announcement spread panic in the city and a connection was quickly established with the case of an immigrant-shooting sniper in Stockholm in the early 1990s nicknamed “Laser Man.”

“Laser Man” was the nickname given to John Ausonius, who shot 11 people of immigrant origin, killing one, around Stockholm from August 1991 to January 1992.

Ausonius, who got his nickname by initially using a rifle equipped with a laser sight, was sentenced to life behind bars in 1994 and remains in prison.


Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

The chairwoman of the Police Association West Region has said that police special tactics, known as Särskild polistaktik or SPT, should be available across Sweden, to use in demonstrations similar to those during the Easter weekend.

Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

SPT, (Särskild polistaktik), is a tactic where the police work with communication rather than physical measures to reduce the risk of conflicts during events like demonstrations.

Tactics include knowledge about how social movements function and how crowds act, as well as understanding how individuals and groups act in a given situation. Police may attempt to engage in collaboration and trust building, which they are specially trained to do.

Katharina von Sydow, chairwoman of the Police Association West Region, told Swedish Radio P4 West that the concept should exist throughout the country.

“We have nothing to defend ourselves within 10 to 15 metres. We need tools to stop this type of violent riot without doing too much damage,” she said.

SPT is used in the West region, the South region and in Stockholm, which doesn’t cover all the places where the Easter weekend riots took place.

In the wake of the riots, police unions and the police’s chief safety representative had a meeting with the National Police Chief, Anders Tornberg, and demanded an evaluation of the police’s work. Katharina von Sydow now hopes that the tactics will be introduced everywhere.

“This concept must exist throughout the country”, she said.

During the Easter weekend around 200 people were involved in riots after a planned demonstration by anti-Muslim Danish politician Rasmus Paludan and his party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), that included the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Police revealed on Friday that at least 104 officers were injured in counter-demonstrations that they say were hijacked by criminal gangs intent on targeting the police. 

Forty people were arrested and police are continuing to investigate the violent riots for which they admitted they were unprepared. 

Paludan’s application for another demonstration this weekend was rejected by police.

In Norway on Saturday, police used tear gas against several people during a Koran-burning demonstration after hundreds of counter-demonstrators clashed with police in the town of Sandefjord.