19-Year-Old Sentenced to Life After Mass Shooting

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jun.03 - 2024 12:04 PM CET

Photo: Presse-fotos.dk
Photo: Presse-fotos.dk
A 19-year-old has been sentenced to life after a mass shooting.

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The command to the shooter was simple: "Brother, everyone you see, just shoot."

Then, 21 shots rang out from a military automatic weapon into a crowded square in Farsta, a suburb of the Swedish capital, Stockholm. The attack left a 15-year-old boy and a 43-year-old man dead, and four others injured.

Now, both the shooter and the driver have been sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, as reported by Dagens Nyheter.

An Evening Turns Tragic

On a warm evening in June last year, the serene atmosphere in Farsta was shattered.

Just after 6 p.m., an orange BMW screeched to a halt near a crowd in the town square. A 19-year-old man emerged from the car and began firing indiscriminately with a military automatic weapon.

Panic ensued as people fled for their lives. The Total Defense Research Institute estimated that 30-40 individuals were within the "danger zone" when the shooting began.

A 15-year-old boy, en route to a fairground on his electric scooter, was struck by two bullets and died instantly. A 43-year-old man heading to the subway was hit by three bullets and later succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. Four others were wounded in the chaotic scene.

The 20-year-old driver sped away from the scene with the shooter, but less than an hour later, police apprehended them near Järna.

By April, charges were brought against the shooter, the driver, and two other men involved in the incident. One acted as a scout at the scene, while the other had hired the scout.

The Södertörn District Court has now sentenced all four individuals for their roles in the mass shooting. The shooter and the driver were convicted of two counts of murder, 17 counts of attempted murder, and causing danger to others. Both received life sentences. The driver, who is not a Swedish citizen, will also be deported for life.

Background and Sentencing Details

The 20-year-old shooter, who had been working as a preschool teacher in southern Stockholm, admitted to firing the shots but denied any involvement in planning the attack. The driver, who worked at a road construction site, admitted to driving the car but claimed ignorance of the planned shooting.

"This shooting is linked to the ongoing wave of violence in the Stockholm area and represents an especially reckless act on a Saturday afternoon when many people were in the Farsta square," said Chief Councilor Agneta Kornstrand. "The defendants' actions show a total disregard for human life."

The investigation suggests the now-disbanded Foxtrot network orchestrated the shooting, targeting a local criminal network in Farsta. The masterminds behind the order remain unidentified.

The two other men, not directly involved in the shooting, were convicted of aiding and abetting one of the murders and seven of the attempted murders. They received sentences of 15 years and 10 months, and 12 years and 10 months, respectively. One of the men received a reduced sentence for providing crucial information in another investigation.

Chat conversations before the crime indicate that the shooter's indiscriminate firing may have been intentional.

A message read, "Brother, everyone you see, just shoot." The same person later added, “Take as many as you can.” Prosecutors have not ruled out the possibility that the victims were shot by mistake.

Lawyer Mark Safaryan, representing the 20-year-old driver, announced plans to appeal the verdict, asserting his client's innocence regarding the charges he denied.

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