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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

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

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More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
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