'Police executed my husband': Husby widow
13 Aug 2013, 16:36
Published: 13 Aug 2013 16:36 GMT+02:00
- Prosecutor drops Husby police shooting probe (07 Aug 13)
- Only one jailed as most Husby cases are closed (29 Jul 13)
- Stockholm cop probed over pre-riot killing (28 May 13)
- Stockholm's not burning (24 May 13)
"Why didn't they spray him with pepper spray instead of shooting him? Are they allowed to use weapons however they like?" the widow told the local Mitt I newspaper on Tuesday.
"It was basically an execution."
The couple had spent the May evening at the pub on the night of the incident. The widow told the newspaper that her husband had become annoyed at a group of men sitting in a car near their home, at which point he went home and fetched a knife to threaten them.
A widely circulated picture has shown the man wielding the large knife from the building's external corridor, but his widow on Tuesday said the man had mostly picked up the knife as a joke.
"We have been married for 34 years and I did not feel threatened at all," she told Mitt I.
Then the police arrived. Despite officers knocking on the door repeatedly, the couple decided to tell them to go away through the door. The answer was to toss a smoke grenade in through the letter box she said.
"We were sitting on the sofa and my husband looked at my and said 'now they are going to kill us both'," she said.
An internal police investigation found that the rapid response team included four police officers who broke into the flat at around 8:30pm, due to concern about the well-being of the man's wife.
She said that she had initially stood in front of her husband, but received pepper spray to her face and did not see the actual shot to her husband's head being fired.
The police review stated that the officers said the man never let go of his knife and when he took a step towards them holding the knife in the air, one of the officers shot him in the head. A second officer tried to shoot him in the leg, but missed.
A preliminary investigation into suspected manslaughter was closed down last week by the Swedish prosecutor's office.
The widow still lives in the flat in Husby. She took her husband's body back to his birth country of Portugal to be buried in late May, after the riots and vandalism sparked by his death subsided across Stockholm's suburbs.
"I try to live every day as it comes. My husband had a sense of humour and made my life more eventful," she told Mitt I.