‘Police executed my husband’: Husby widow

The woman whose husband was shot and killed by the police in the Stockholm neighbourhood of Husby earlier this year, an incident cited as the spark for ensuing riots and vandalism, has spoken out about the night of his death.

'Police executed my husband': Husby widow

“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.

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Officer slams police over Husby shooting

A police officer who was present when a colleague shot dead a 69-year-old man in Husby in Stockholm in May, sparking days of riots, has stated that the incident "contradicted everything the police stand for".

Officer slams police over Husby shooting

“The police must protect, help and put things right. In this case it was the opposite,” the police, named in the Swedish media as Martin Marmgren, wrote on his blog.

The man stresses that he does not want to blame any person, neither in the patrol nor in operational command.

“There has been an internal investigation, which concluded that the fatal shot was fired in self-defence and no individual police officer is suspected of any crime. But, and this is the difference, I believe that the police as an organization carries a great debt as we were unable to handle the situation without someone dying,” Marmgren wrote.

The officer noted that the 69-year-old man was armed with a large knife. While he believes that “the police had full control of how we chose to approach the situation regarding tactics, the means and the tools.”

“Then the result should not have been so devastating,” he argued.

The shooting, which occurred on May 13th 2013 has been blamed for having provoked days of violent rioting which broke out in the suburb of Husby a few days later. The unrest later spread to other locations in the Stockholm area.

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