Police shoot man dead in Stockholm gunfight

Police shot and killed a man in a Stockholm suburb on Wednesday evening after he had fired several shots at a patrol unit.

Police shoot man dead in Stockholm gunfight
Police officers in Bagarmossen after the shooting. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Police were first called to the scene shortly after 7pm when they received of a report that an armed man had been spotted in central Bagarmossen, a south-eastern suburb of Stockholm. 

“The man departed in a car which was seen by a police unit and stopped on Sockenvägen,” Mikael Pettersson at Stockholm Police told news agency TT. 

“The driver got out and shot at the police unit, who returned fire.” 

Newspaper Aftonbladet reported the man had been shot in the head.

Pettersson said he did not know how many shots had been fired in the exchange but noted there were four bullet holes in the police car’s windscreen. 

The shooting victim, born in 1988, was taken by air ambulance to Karolinska University Hospital in Solna where doctors were unable to resuscitate him. 

The man was the tenth person to be shot dead by Swedish police since January 2013. 

The victims of police shootings include a sword-wielding right-wing extremist who killed three people in an attack on a school in Trollhättan in western Sweden last year. 

In May 2013 police shot and killed a 69-year-old man in Husby outside Stockholm. That shooting was widely cited as the spark for a wave of riots and vandalism in the area. The victim's widow described it as an “execution”. Prosecutors later vindicated the police, saying they had acted in self-defence.


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.