A 12-year-old girl was shot dead near Stockholm, causing commotion on Monday in Sweden. The country has been facing a worrying increase in shootings linked to criminal gangs for several years now.
The teenager did not appear to be targeted as she was fatally injured overnight from Saturday to Sunday. The scene took place outside a fast food restaurant in Norsborg, a modest but usually quiet suburb in the south of the Swedish capital, police said.
"Emotion and disgust"
“This must not happen again. She's a 12 year old girl, dammit. Those who live here deserve better ”, indignant Christina Lundström, a 51-year-old resident who came to meditate. "No politician is there to show his support, what a fiasco," laments Daniel Acat, 32 years old.
The Minister of Justice, Morgan Johansson, expressed to the TT news agency his "emotion and disgust" at the affair, which has aroused many reactions. Since the incident, flowers and candles have been placed to form a heart at the scene of the crime.
Two members of a criminal gang present at the scene were the real targets of the numerous shots, according to Swedish media.
Increase in shootings in the country
With one of the lowest homicide rates in the world, peaceful Sweden has for several years been faced with an increase in explosions and shootings targeting buildings, vehicles and, more recently, people.
In the first half of 2020, 20 people were killed in 163 shootings in Sweden, according to police. Last year, 42 people were killed, for 334 incidents.
Cases are seldom resolved but, according to the Swedish Crime Prevention Council, the increase in cases is linked to drug trafficking. In 2019, the government unveiled 34 measures to combat this phenomenon, notably providing for an increase in staff numbers and penalties.
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Besides Stockholm and its suburbs, the phenomenon hits the cities of Malmö, Göteborg, or Helsinborg. Last August, two murders created emotion in the country. Women had been gunned down within weeks of each other, including one in broad daylight in Malmö as she carried her baby - who survived - in her arms.
The girl killed this weekend is not the youngest victim. In 2015, a 4-year-old child was killed with three adults in a car bomb explosion.