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SHOOTING

Mother of three ‘knew suspected killer’

A woman who was shot in a suburb of Gothenburg in western Sweden on Saturday night, and died of her injuries on Tuesday, was acquainted with the man wanted by police, the prosecutor has confirmed.

A warrant has been issued for a man in connection with the shooting and the prosecutor has confirmed that police have a number of leads in the hunt for the suspect.

“We have a few lines of enquiry,” prosecutor Lena Kastlund said.

The charge has been raised from attempted murder to murder after the woman’s death at Sahlgrenska University Hospital on Tuesday morning.

Kastlund is otherwise unwilling to divulge further details on the case, although confirmed that the woman was familiar with the alleged assailant.

“They were in the same circle of acquaintances,” she said.

The prosecutor declined to divulge the man’s age.

The 33-year-old woman, who is reported to have three children, was on Saturday found lying outside of a residential building in which she lived in the Sävedalen area of the city.

She was rushed to Östra hospital after police responded to an alarm call at around 6.30pm.

Police spent Saturday evening talking to the woman’s neighbours and identified the suspect over the weekend.

If the man is not detained in the coming days the prosecutor could seek to have the man remanded in absentia, which would enable an international arrest warrant to be issued.

“I could imagine that a remand application could be made towards the end of the week or in the beginning of next week,” Lena Kastlund said.

Police have confirmed that the crime took place outside, but have declined to confirm the weapon used or any possible motive.

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SHOOTING

Malmö pushes ahead with US anti-gang method after shootings

The recent spate of explosions and shootings in Malmö has not knocked the local police's pioneering anti-gang project off course, local police chief Stefan Sintéus said on Wednesday.

Malmö pushes ahead with US anti-gang method after shootings
Ten representatives of the agencies involved in Sluta Skjut gave a press conference on Wednesday. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Under the city's Sluta Skjut (Stop Shooting) scheme, nine known gang members were on Tuesday forced to attend a meeting where they were confronted by police, nurses, bereaved parents, social workers and others, all of whom sought to convince them to leave their criminal lives. 
 
Sintèus told a press conference that he was worried that the fatal shooting of Jaffar, a 15-year-old boy, on Saturday night in a pizzeria near Malmö's Möllevånstorget square, would change the dynamic of the so-called 'call-in'.
 
“I can honestly say that I was worried before this call-in,” he said. “I would like to say that this was a call-in where we could tell with all of them that it sunk in.” 
 
The nine men had all been sentenced for various crimes, and had to attend the meeting as part of their probation. Three of those invited chose not to come, thereby risking a 15-day prison sentence. 
 
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The meeting was the third since the Sluta Skjut project began last year. The project uses the Group Violence Intervention technique developed by Professor David Kennedy, who leads the National Network for Safe Communities (NNSC) at John Jay College in New York. 
 
NNSC claims that the technique cut youth homicide in Boston by 63 percent and the number of shootings by 27 percent when it was launched there in the 1990s. 
 
The police briefly uploaded a video of a rehearsal involved carried out before the event took place on Tuesday but later took it down. The Sydsvenskan newspaper published a clip on its website (In Swedish). 
 
The video shows Dejan, from the local probation services; Sedat Arif, a Malmö city councillor from Macedonia who explained his tough upbringing in Rosengård, Anna Kosztovics, who leads the unit helping gang members leave crime, and Ebba, a deacon from the Swedish church, as well as two police officers and Ola Sjöstrand, Malmö's chief prosecutor.
 
 
 
Boel Håkansson, with the Swedish police's national unit NOA, said that so far 30 young men had shown interest in leaving criminal life. “That's one result of the work in Sluta Skjut, but we have a lot more to do,” she said. 
 
She also stressed that, even after the shootings last Saturday and on Monday, the number of fatal shootings since the project began was still down dramatically on 2018. 
 
At Tuesday's meeting, the nine young men were lectured by Lizette Vargas, a nurse who has helped treat some of those admitted to Malmö University Hospital with bullet wounds. 
 
“I told them what it looks like when someone comes into the accident and emergency department with bullet wounds,” she said at the press conference, according to the Sydsvenskan newspaper. “I explained how we in our profession feel when we look after a trauma patient and handle their friends and relatives.” 
 
She said that she felt the men had been affected by what she said. “They became upset. We had made contact when our eyes met. You can tell it's sinking in.”  
 
At the meeting on Tuesday there were more than 70 people, including representatives of sports clubs, religious organisations, and the local city government, all of whom offered various services to help the men leave criminal life. 
 
A mother, whose adult son had died of an illness, told the men what it was like to lose a child. 
 
But as well as the soft sell, there was a harder message. 
 
“We are not going to accept that either you, or those you hang about with, use guns or violence,” Sintéus told them. “If you choose to continue doing that nonetheless, the police and other authorities are going to have a minute focus on everyone in the most violent group.” 
 
Under Group Violence Intervention, police put the lives of those deemed to still be engaged in violent crime under the microscope, carrying out frequent spot checks on them. 
 
“We know who you are and who you hang out with,” added Glen Sjögren, who has worked for Malmö police for 40 years.  “We do not want more young kids to end their lives in a pool of blood.” 
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