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CRIME

‘I saw a lifeless woman’s bloodied head’: witness

A woman who died after being found battered and bleeding on a street in Malmö on Wednesday morning is believed to have been fatally beaten by her husband, who is now being held on suspicion of murder.

The 33-year-old woman was discovered around 3.30am on Wednesday morning by passersby on a street in central Malmö after a man asked them for help lifting what witnesses quickly realized was a human body wrapped in a blanket.

“He had opened the door of the minivan and was trying to lift the body in. He was completely exhausted, he had no strength left. He also seemed gripped by panic,” the witness told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

“The blanket slip off and I saw a lifeless woman’s bloodied head…she didn’t move or make a sound.

The witness and his companions immediately alerted police and then surrounded the 42-year-old man’s vehicle in order to prevent him from leaving the scene.

“It was an accident, it was an accident,” the man said as he leaned on the minivan, according to witnesses.

Police and emergency services arrived shortly thereafter and the woman was taken to hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Meanwhile, officers found the 42-year-old in the stairwell of the apartment building where the couple lived and arrested him on suspicion of murder, with an alternative charge of manslaughter.

According to Aftonbladet, the 33-year-old victim had filed for a divorce from her husband a few weeks ago, but recently withdrew the petition by sending a letter to the district court in Malmö.

Police are conducting a forensic investigation of the couple’s apartment, believed to be the scene of the fatal attack, but are releasing few details about the case pending notification of the woman’s relatives.

The 42-year-old man has no prior criminal convictions and police had no indications of any known threats against the woman. In addition, the man is father to four of the woman’s five children, Aftonbladet reports.

TT/The Local/dl

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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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