The man shot dead by two hooded gunmen is thought to be Ashkan Moayed Abedi, a member of the Wolfpack Brotherhood criminal gang. He escaped the restaurant into the carpark where he was then gunned down in front of shocked shoppers. He died later in hospital.
“They fired perhaps ten or twelve shots," a witness told Aftonbladet newspaper. "One hit the car of someone I know and went straight through."
”We saw flames coming out of the gun barrels,” another witness told the paper. " A small girl came running into the shop crying. She must have been caught in the cross fire.”
Abedi, 30, was a key player in the gang war which took place in Sweden's third largest city between 2007 and 2011, leaving at least two men dead. He had been convicted more than 25 times, notably for attempting to murder a prosecutor in 2007 by planting a bomb at her home.
After his release in 2012, Abedi moved to Umeå in northern Sweden under a false identity. However, his name was revealed when he was charged with attempted murder following a knife fight in the city. He was not convicted for the crime, but shortly afterwards appears to have returned to Malmö.
On Monday police confirmed to the TT news agency that he had experienced death threats over the past year and had been offered but not accepted police protection.
A police spokesperson Stephan Söderholm earlier told Expressen that the location and timing of the attack had been “poorly chosen”, given the number of witnesses present.
“We don’t think it was a coincidence that the deed was done there and then. The perpetrators found an opportunity and took advantage of the situation. But I must say that the location was poorly chosen. There were a lot of people moving around and many eyes observed what happened.”
According to TT, the murder was preceded by a brawl in the restaurant. After the shooting was over, the two men sped away in a black BMW.
Tobias Barkman, a crime reporter for th Sydsvenskan newspaper and author of Mafia Wars, a book about Malmö's underworld, said that Abedi's murder could well be an extension of the rivalry of a few years ago.
"One can not be sure that the murder had anything to do with the gang war. He may have had other enemies. But he has been living under a threat for well over five years because of the gang war. Then the threat became even more severe after his brother killed a person on the other side."