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CRIME

Swedish gang leader gets life for murder

A 31-year-old man from the criminal gang known as the "Original Gangsters" has been sentenced to life in prison for murder and attempted murder, after a gun attack in southern Sweden left a retired man dead.

Swedish gang leader gets life for murder

The guilty man, who is understood to be high up in the notorious gang, was charged with shooting a man to death in Nässjö, southern Sweden in February last year. 

He had opened fire on the 61-year-old man who was found dead at the scene. The victim's wife, 59, was severely injured in the attack and has since died of a stroke, with prosecutors arguing that the gang leader should be tried on two counts of murder.

The brutal attack took place at the victim's home, a residential area in Nässjö, and police were alerted that a person was acting suspiciously in the area.

In the ensuing attack the pair were shot at point blank range, killing the man instantly. His wife was shot in the neck.

She had given evidence in court about the case but died the following day. Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported that the whole affair may have been a case of mistaken identity, arguing that the killer was in the area to pick up an unpaid debt.

In court the murder was described as an "execution-style" killing. He was also indicted in connection with another murder in Gothenburg. 

The man's 22-year old accomplice also appeared in court on charges of protecting a felon. While those charges were dismissed he was handed a ten-month prison sentence for weapons offences. 

The forensic investigation into the Nässjö shootings is still ongoing, which will then determine if the convicted man will be tried on a second charge of murder 

The Local/pr

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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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