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POLICE

Masked shooter arrested in northern Sweden

Swedish police have arrested the masked man, armed with a rifle, who went berserk in the early hours of Friday morning when he failed to gain entry into an elderly couple's home.

“It must be a madman,” said Erik Kummu, police spokesperson of the county police to local radio station P4 Norrbotten.

According to the police, the man had rung the doorbell of a house in a residential area on the outskirts of Boden, in Norrbotten County, around 2am.

When they opened, he said he was from the post office.

“I thought it was a Halloween prank,” the homeowner told TV4.

The house owner managed to push the armed man out and lock the door behind him.

“The he took a shot, which went through the wall and travelled through yet another one,” Kummu said.

According to police, the man was armed with a rifle.

Just before 5am the man reportedly fired at police, although police couldn’t confirm the reports.

“No one has been hurt yet but he’s carrying a high-calibre weapon,” Kummu told the radio station.

A broadcast journalist, reporting from the scene, said that five armed officers had told him to stay away from the area.

Specially trained officers, K9-patrols and regular police from Boden, Luleå and Piteå took part in the chase.

The elderly couple who resided in the house were evacuated and brought to safety.

By 2pm on Friday afternoon police apprehended a man in connection with the shooting.

“It wasn’t far from where it happened, in a nearby residential area,” a police spokesperson told TT.

While police refused to give out the man’s exact age, they say he fits the description of a man between 16- and 25-years-old.

It is not known whether the man had any connection to the elderly couple into whose home he shot.

“We don’t know exactly what the connection may be, but it’s a small town and a little residential area,” the spokesperson told TT.

Following an interrogation with the man, prosecutors will decide whether or not he should be detained. He is suspected of attempted murder or manslaughter.

The shooting took place in the village of Svartbjörnsbyn and police investigators has launched a forensic examination of the house and its surroundings.

The elderly couple who lived in the house are now staying with relatives and were interviewed by police during the day on Friday.

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PROTESTS

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.

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