Murder investigation in Sweden after 12-year-old girl shot dead in drive-by gang violence
A murder investigation has been launched after a 12-year-old girl was shot dead in Stockholm over the weekend.
The girl, who has not been named, was shot at a petrol station in the Botkyrka neighbourhood of the Swedish capital on Sunday night.
She is said to have been walking her dog at the time and was not believed to have been the target, but had instead been caught in the crossfire of a gang-related attack.
According to local media, the drive-by shooting may have been targeting two members of a gang — although police have not revealed who they could be.
Candles were placed at the scene of the shooting on Monday as fierce debate resurfaced about gang-related violence around Stockholm.
Christina Lundstrom, 51, who paid her respects at the scene, told AFP: "This can't happen again. It's a 12-year-old girl."
Police have not yet made any arrests, but are interested in talking to the driver of a white car spotted in the vicinity at the time of the incident.
Justice Minister Morgan Johansson told news agency TT that he felt "dismay and disgust" over the fatal shooting, and promised "more police and harsher sentences".
Opposition MP Johan Forsell, meanwhile, said the incident should prompt a re-think "to make Sweden safer".
There were 163 shootings in the first half of 2020 in Sweden, leading to 20 fatalities.
This can be compared to the 334 shootings reported last year, with 42 deaths as a result.
Two women were killed just weeks apart in August last year after also getting caught in crossfire.
It comes despite the Swedish government handing more power to the police in terms of surveillance and witness protection schemes.
Tougher sentences for drugs and weapons-related crimes were also stepped following a surge in shooting incidents and bombings.