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Police officer killed after shooting in Gothenburg

A police officer has died in hospital after being injured in a shooting in the Biskopsgården district of Gothenburg.

Police officer killed after shooting in Gothenburg
The police have begun a major operation in Biskopsgården after a police officer was fatally shot. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall / TT

The police chief for Gothenburg, Erik Nord, has told SVT, “The most likely thing now is that the shooting was not aimed at the police.”

The police say that an intensive investigation is now underway to be to find and arrest the suspect. They are interrogating witnesses and reviewing surveillance film, as well as door knocking.

According to reports, the police officer was talking to a couple of people when he was shot. He had been in the Biskopsgården area on a moped together with a colleague. He died later of his injuries. 

Police rushed to the scene with several patrols at 10.30pm on Wednesday night after reports from people who had heard gunshots in the area.

At a press conference on Thursday morning, police said they were not able to share any information about the suspected perpetrator or motive for the shooting, nor whether there was any suspected connection to criminal gangs.

“This is a terribly tragic event and it was a terrible and sad message to receive. My thoughts go above all to his relatives but also to all colleagues,” said Klas Johansson, the regional police chief in the West, in a statement.

The officer who was killed was described as in his early 30s and relatively new to the profession. 

The National Police Chief, Anders Thornberg, said: “It is with great sadness that we have received the news that a colleague has died after being shot during the evening. Our thoughts go to the family, loved ones and colleagues. I have spoken to the regional police chief and parts of the other police management in region West to ensure that they have the resources required to be able to prosecute the culprit. The police profession is associated with risks and we must continue the work of minimising those risks with great determination.” 

The Gothenburg police chief, Erik Nord, said, “One must be careful not to draw too far-reaching conclusions. But it could be that the policeman was shot because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But it is not possible to answer for real before we go further into the investigation.”

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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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