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HOFORS TEACHER KILLING

CRIME

‘It really wasn’t that brutal’: murder suspect

A young man suspected of beating a 54-year-old Swedish school teacher to death in April tried to downplay the severity of the fatal assault in testimony on the second day of the against the three young adults who stand charged with the killing.

‘It really wasn’t that brutal’: murder suspect

“It really wasn’t as brutal as it sounds,” said the murder suspect when he described the assault that led to the death of teacher Tommy Johansson, who was found beaten to death in his apartment in Hofors in eastern Sweden.

The two men and one woman are charged with the crime are all in their early twenties.

One of the men has been charged with murder, while the woman has been charged with murder and an alternative charge of being an accomplice to murder. The second man has been charged with being an accomplice to murder as well as with protecting a criminal.

The three suspects had visited a pizzeria in Hofors on April 3rd where they ran into Johansson, who had been one of the woman’s favourite teachers in high school.

When the trio left the restaurant, the woman told her two male friends that Johansson had groped her and touched her breasts. Her boyfriend reacted violently, and found out where the teacher lived.

Once he’d found the address, the three broke into Johansson’s apartment.

There they beat Johansson, subjecting him to severe and prolonged assault that verged on torture, according to prosecutors.

The three suspects also stole a computer as well as Johansson’s cash card before leaving the scene.

Part of the assault has been documented, as one of the men brought out his mobile phone camera to record the proceedings.

The 20-year-old woman testified on Tuesday that when she took her boyfriend to her teacher’s house she had only intended for them to “talk”.

“I thought I’d just let him know he had done a bad thing,” she said while interrogated.

But according to the woman, her boyfriend, who is now facing murder charges, beat the teacher to the ground. While sitting down on top of him, he proceeded to punch the man in the face three times.

“And that was when I kicked him in the side of his abdomen and in the groin,” said the woman and burst into tears.

Crying, she then continued telling how the 20-year-old man continued his assault on the teacher by hitting him in the stomach and then jumping on both his chest and his head, all the while being filmed with a mobile phone camera.

Unlike the woman, the male murder suspect didn’t show any emotion. He accounted for what he had done that evening, denying having urged his girlfriend and the other man to come with him to the teacher’s house.

When the trio had trouble getting the 54-year-old’s door open, the man was close to giving up his plans to attack the teacher.

“I wasn’t going to bother. But then I changed my mind and made another attempt and managed to break the glass,“ he said in court.

The 20-year-old retold how he then assaulted the Johansson.

“I jumped on his chest, not from up high, it was more to make my point. I did that twice,” he said.

He also claimed to know from previous experience with violence what kind of consequences different levels of abuse could have and that this assault really wasn’t as brutal as it sounds.

“Sure, you probably shouldn’t jump on people but I did and it was just a stupid thing to do,” he said to the court.

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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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