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CRIME

Plea for witnesses after 12-year-old girl shot dead in Sweden

Police are appealing for witnesses after a 12-year-old girl was killed in what Swedish media described as a drive-by shooting south of Stockholm.

Plea for witnesses after 12-year-old girl shot dead in Sweden
Police scouring the scene for evidence. Photo: Naima Helén Jåma/TT

According to unconfirmed reports in several Swedish newspapers, the girl did not appear to have been the intended target.

The Expressen tabloid reported that she was hit by a stray bullet aimed at two men with alleged links to a criminal network, with shots fired at them from a car.

“I cannot confirm any such reports, but want to underline that we are in great need of witnesses and observations. It's only when we have that that we can say what happened. Let us determine whether or not they are relevant observations,” local police chief Carolina Paasikivi told the TT newswire.

Police were called to the shooting at 3.27am on Sunday at a petrol station in the Norsborg area of Botkyrka, south of Stockholm. The girl was taken to hospital, but later died from her injuries.

No arrests had been made by Monday morning, but several people were being questioned. Police did not elaborate on what forensic teams had found, but said they would analyse CCTV footage.

“We will investigate and do everything in our power to bring the people behind this terrible act to justice,” national police chief Anders Thornberg told TT.

“We will collect witness statements, forensic evidence and all material that could help us move the investigation forward. But how successful we are also depends on those who know anything about the incident coming forward and helping us solve the crime.”

Sweden launched a so-called “special national incident” in November 2019 to look into violent gang crime incidents, but the number of shootings increased in the first four months of 2020 compared to last year.

Fifteen people were killed in 98 shootings between January and April, according to police statistics released earlier this year. In the same period of 2019, there were 81 shootings with 15 people killed.

However, the number of fatal shootings has remained relatively unchanged compared to previous years. Nine people were killed in 76 shootings during the same four months in 2018, and the year before that a total of 16 people were killed in 99 shootings.

Member comments

  1. My question is what was a 12 year old girl doing out at 3.27 am on a Saturday night / Sunday morning? Where were her parents?

  2. @Marcus

    How on earth is that even relevant? People go wherever they want whenever they want in Sweden. My question is why on earth was she shot? Why on earth would anyone in their right mind have a weapon and point this weapon at a gas station in the middle of the night or early morning or any time at all?

  3. @seriously Gang related crime most likely. I think people used to go wherever they want whenever they wanted but times are changing now I’m afraid, the bubble people live in is slowly popping.

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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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