Third person arrested for ‘brutal’ farm murders

Police arrested a 36-year-old man on Friday afternoon for his suspected role in the execution-style murder of a couple on a farm in western Sweden.

Third person arrested for 'brutal' farm murders

On Thursday evening, a 23-year-old man from Gothenburg and an accomplice were arrested on suspicion of having carried out the killings in what the police believe to have been a brutal robbery.

“It has come to our attention that several items are missing from the couple’s house,” said Thomas Fuxborg, police spokesman for the county police, told news agency TT.

The 36-year-old suspect was called in for questioning on Friday and revealed information that led police to place him under arrest, the Aftonbladet newspaper reported.

According to the paper, the man is believed to have sheltered the two other suspected murderers.

The elderly couple, a 69-year-old dairy farmer and his 71-year-old wife, were found dead on Wednesday, after failing to turn up for a performance with the local choir, scheduled for that afternoon.

“They were supposed to come along for a performance at an elderly care home, but they didn’t turn up,” Ulf Efraimsson, chair of the local parish of the Mission Covenant Church, to the TT news agency.

Two members of the choir then traveled to the couple’s home to see if they had become sick or run into trouble of some sort.

They then discovered the farmer’s body and called police. When police arrived, they found the woman’s body in the farm’s main residence.

Police describe the victims as a pair of well-meaning farmers from in the small village of Långared, about 15 kilometres north of Alingsås.

Both victims had been subjected to extreme violence and an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday to determine the exact cause of death.

The revelation that objects were missing from the couple’s home have led the police to believe that a robbery was the motive behind the brutal murders.

It was late Thursday afternoon that the police began suspecting the two men, said Fuxborg to daily Aftonladet on Friday.

A warrant for the arrest of the two was promptly issued and they were brought in after police had raided two houses in Gothenburg and Stockholm late on Thursday evening.

According to the paper, the police were able to seize several objects that could be vital as evidence in the case.

“As its stands there are no other suspects and no other arrest warrants issued. But we will see where the investigation takes us,” he said to TT.

Police started their initial questioning of the two suspects as soon as they were brought in, but further interrogations will take place on Friday morning.

Investigators now have a clearer picture of the crime.

“We know the couple were killed some time between late Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon,” Fuxborg told Aftonbladet.

According to the police, the two suspects were seen in the area on Tuesday evening.

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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.