Swedish police cleared in shooting investigation | News | DW | 07.08.2013
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Swedish police cleared in shooting investigation

A police officer who shot and killed a knife-wielding 69-year-old man has been cleared of any wrongdoing. The shooting sparked a week of riots, as some people believed that race played a role in the shooting.

A prosecutor in Stockholm announced on Wednesday that an investigation into the shooting incident from May had been closed, adding that the officer who killed the armed suspect had acted in self defense.

"The preliminary investigation is discontinued because there is no reason to believe a crime has been committed," prosecutor Eva Finne said in a statement

The Stockholm suburb of Husby, where the shooting occurred, experienced a wave of vandalism and rioting after the shooting. Cars and buildings were torched, with 220 crimes reported and 60 people detained. Some residents of Husby, which is largely an immigrant community, believed the shooting was racially motivated. Discontent over unemployment also contributed to the unrest.

But Wednesday's decision cleared the officer, who fired the fatal shot, of any wrongdoing. Prosecutors said that on May 13, police responded after the suspect had threatened another man and then locked himself in his house with his wife.

After trying to negotiate with the suspect, police entered the house out of fears for the wife's safety. They attempted to use pepper spray and stun grenades to disarm the man, who was wielding a large knife. Before the fatal shot was fired, police also fired a round into the floor as a warning, but the man moved to attack with the knife, which resulted in the deadly shot.

The wife was in another room of the house during the shooting, meaning prosecutors relied on the testimony of other officers. The prosecutors said that evidence from the crime scene supports the officers' claims that a warning shot was fired and stun grenades were used.

mz/slk (dpa, AP, AFP)