Guard’s fatal shooting not a threat to PM: police

The guard who shot himself dead at Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s official residence last week was not acting against the government, according to police.

Guard's fatal shooting not a threat to PM: police

The 49-year-old security guard killed himself last Friday afternoon at the Sagerska Palace in central Stockholm, the Prime Minister’s official residence, prompting a massive police response.

No one else was injured in the incident, and Reinfeldt was not at home at the time.

Olle Pålsson, who is leading the investigation into the guard’s death, explained that police have concluded that the death was not in any way aimed at the prime minister or the government:

“There’s nothing in my investigation that indicates this in any case,” he told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

It is believed the guard used his own weapon in the shooting and forensic tests are underway to confirm this. Medical examiners have said the injuries sustained by the guard suggest the incident was a suicide, but an accidental discharge hasn’t been ruled out.

The prime minister’s youngest son was at the residence when the incident occurred, and had said hello to the guard in passing shortly before the fatal shot was fired.

The 49-year-old, who had worked at as a guard for Svensk Bevakningstjänst for six years, showed no signs that he was unwell. Sources of Aftonbladet suggest that the motivation of the likely suicide was financial trouble at home.

“None of the colleagues had noticed that something was afoot,” Pålsson told the paper.

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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.