Stockholm police shoot dead ‘severely disabled’ man carrying toy gun

UPDATED: A man who died after being shot by police in Stockholm on Thursday morning had Down Syndrome and autism and was carrying a toy gun, according to Swedish media reports.

Stockholm police shoot dead 'severely disabled' man carrying toy gun
File photo of police sirens. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police opened fire while carrying out a check on a man in the central Vasastan district of the Swedish capital, following what they described as a “threatening situation”. The incident occurred at around 4am, and the victim was taken to hospital but later confirmed to have died.

On Thursday afternoon, tabloid Expressen reported that the victim was a 20-year-old with Down Syndrome and autism, who had left home with a toy gun. 

His mother told the newspaper that her son was severely disabled, and described him as “the world's kindest man”.

She added that he “couldn't even speak” other than being able to say the word 'mum'.

Earlier reports had said that police were called after residents reported the man holding a weapon, and that officers asked him to relinquish it before they opened fire.

An internal review of the action taken by police will be carried out, though no officers are currently suspected of a specific crime.

In their first statement on the incident, police had said: “While searching a person on Norra Stationsgatan in Stockholm, police ended up in a threatening situation and opened fire.”

In an update at 10.35am, they said that the weapon carried by the man was believed to be a replica, and that the victim had been reported missing by family around an hour after the incident.

The man who died on Thursday was the seventh person to die in Sweden this year after being shot by police, newswire TT reports.

READ ALSO: 12,000 weapons handed in during amnesty, Swedish police say

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Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden.