Europe

Sweden arrests man aged 38 over Malmo race shootings

Police arrive to search the suspect's address in Malmo, 7 November
Image caption Police have been searching the suspect's flat in Malmo

A man has been arrested in the Swedish city of Malmo over a series of gun attacks which targeted mainly immigrants in the south of the country.

The unnamed suspect was accused of committing one murder and seven attempted murders over the past 12 months.

People were fired on at bus stops, in their cars and through a gym window.

The suspect, arrested in his flat on Saturday, denies any crime. He has a gun licence and two weapons were found.

A tip-off from a member of the public led to the arrest, police spokesman Borje Sjoholm told reporters in Malmo on Sunday.

The suspect is accused of attempted murders between October 2009 and October of this year, as well as one actual murder.

On 10 October 2009, Trez West Persson, a 20-year-old woman, was shot and killed while sitting in a car near a mosque. A dark-skinned friend sitting beside her was seriously injured.

'Swedish national'

Following the tip-off, police gathered information on the suspect and made inquiries about him, Mr Sjoholm said.

When they were satisfied they had enough evidence to make the arrest, they telephoned the man and asked him to step outside his flat.

The suspect did as he was told and did not offer resistance, the police spokesman said. He was being interrogated on Sunday.

While his name was not released, Swedish media say he appears to be a Swedish national.

A string of shootings in Malmo, a city of 265,000 people, were attributed to a lone gunman before Saturday's arrest

  • On New Year's Eve 2009, an imam was injured by broken glass after shots were fired at a mosque
  • On 25 January 1010, a 17-year-old boy was shot in the chest and a 36-year-old man in the leg outside a store
  • On 16 March 2010, a 21-year-old was hit several times at close range by shots while sitting in a car
  • Over the night of 26-27 June 2010, a 30-year-old man was hit twice in the back by shots fired through the window of a gym and, 40 minutes later, a 29-year-old was shot in the shoulder while sitting in a car
  • On 21 October 2010, two women were injured when shots were fired through a window

The shootings made headlines in Sweden, spreading fear among immigrants about going out at night and sparking sharp criticism of the police.

"This is naturally a success in the investigation," Malmo police chief Ulf Sempert said after Saturday's arrest.

"Of course Malmo residents will get a positive feeling from this."

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