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GOTHENBURG SCHOOL STABBING

CRIME

Girl to friend: ‘I think I’ve got a knife in my throat’

Police continue to hunt for the man suspected in the stabbing a 10-year-old girl outside of her school in Gothenburg on Monday. As the girl recovers in hospital, local residents remain on edge following the attack.

Girl to friend: 'I think I've got a knife in my throat'

“I saw blood when I came up to her. She said, ‘I think I’ve got a knife in my throat’,” a 9-year-old friend of the victim told the Metro newspaper.

The friend at first thought the 10-year-old had a bloody nose, but soon realized her friend lying on the ground had a knife protruding from her neck.

She then saw a strange man running from the scene.

“He was wearing white trousers and a black leather jacket and had something in his mouth,” the girl told Metro.

The day after the attack, more officers are out on patrol in the neighbourhood near the Bergsgård school where the stabbing took place.

“We’ve boosted our presence in the area,” police spokesperson Elf Edberg told the TT news agency on Tuesday morning.

“If for no other reason than to increase the sense of security.”

Edberg refused to say, however, exactly how many additional officers were on patrol in the Hjällbo district.

The stabbing, which took place Monday morning, left the school in shock.

“Obviously it’s worrisome. What’s happened is just tragic,” parent Jama Abdi Qafaar told the local Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper.

He placed some of the blame on the inadequate security at the school.

“They should have wardens out during recess. It’s too easy to get in here,” he told the paper.

Parent Paulus Esho’s daughter is friends with the victim and she was out in the schoolyard at when the incident took place.

“She’s really scared now. They all gathered in the school afterward and cried,” he told GP.

According to some eyewitness accounts, the girl may have found the knife on the ground and was on her way to turn it in to a teacher when the man come up from behind her.

A police source told the Aftonbladet newspaper that investigators believe the stabbing was the work of a lone, confused man.

One of several leads the police are exploring is a cigarette butt found near the scene which police hope may have DNA evidence.

Following the attack, the girl ended up at Sahlgrenska hospital.

Hospital spokesperson Lena Mattson said that the girl is in stable condition, but refused to provide any more details.

At the school, personnel and police held a joint meeting prior to students’ arrival on Tuesday.

Principal Janne Niklasson explained that school officials hoped that the children would have as normal a school day as possible.

“We’re not making any changes to their schedules,” he told TT.

“What’s important is that students come to school and have the chance to talk to their teachers about what happened.”

Psychologists and other student health personnel will hold talks with the students who were interviewed by police about the stabbing and plans to follow the police investigation closely.

“There was a lot of attention from the media yesterday and that’s not something our students are used to dealing with,” said Niklasson, who added that he hoped members of the press would not come too close to the school, where enrolled students are between six and twelve-years-old.

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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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