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11 held after suspected biker gang shootout wounds 8 in Sweden

Eleven men were being held on Monday morning after at least eight people were injured in a shooting in Mölnlycke.

11 held after suspected biker gang shootout wounds 8 in Sweden
Police at the scene of the shooting. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

Several of the people injured are said to be part of motorcycle gang Hells Angels, reports Swedish news agency TT, although the prosecutor declined to confirm which groups were involved.

“The incident appears to have been sparked by a conflict, which either arose during the course of the evening or existed previously, between two different groups – one with links to motorcycle gangs and the other with local connections,” Sweden's prosecution authority said in a statement.

Seven people were taken to hospital in Gothenburg after the shootout on Saturday evening.

Some had gunshot wounds while others had been stabbed or assaulted. By Sunday evening one had been able to leave hospital, five were in stable condition and a seventh remained seriously injured. An eighth person believed to be linked to the incident sought care at a hospital in Skaraborg, writes TT.

The prosecutor has until Wednesday to decide whether to ask court to have the 11 men remanded in custody. They are aged between 25 and 50 and suspected on reasonable grounds of attempted murder and aggravated assault. Thirteen people were initially held. Of those, one had not yet been questioned by Sunday evening and another has been released.

Motorcycle gangs Hells Angels and Bandidos were involved in several violent conflicts in the 1990s, but since then such incidents have been less common in Sweden.

A forensic examination of the scene of the shooting, which took place at a party venue according to local media, was still ongoing on Sunday evening. The area, around 500 metres from the bus and railway station in Mölnlycke and home to a number of small businesses, was cordoned off.

Mölnlycke is located a couple of kilometres south-east of Gothenburg in western Sweden.

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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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