STOCKHOLM (AP) — Two people were killed and two wounded when a gunman opened fire in a crowded bar northwest of Stockholm, police said Friday, in the latest outburst of deadly violence in Sweden.
Police said that a 20-year-old man and another in his 70s died Friday of injuries sustained in the shooting late Thursday at a pub in Sandviken some 162 kilometers (100 miles) northwest of Stockholm.
Two people were injured — a woman in her 20s and a man in his 50s.
Senior investigator Karin Wessén said that the deceased 20-year-old was likely the shooter's target while the other three are believed to be bystanders. The Expressen daily reported that the elderly victim was blind.
She said several shots were fired in the pub, which was packed at the time, before the gunman walked away. Police investigating the shooting appealed for witnesses.
The motive remained unclear. Wessén told a press conference that the shooting could “possibly be part of a local personal conflict” and that it was “uncertain whether it was connected to any of the national conflicts.”
Feuding criminal gangs have become a growing problem in Sweden, with an increasing number of drive-by shootings, bombings and grenade attacks. So far this year, there have been 261 shootings, 36 people have died and 73 were wounded.
“It’s bad enough that the gangs shoot each other to death, but when completely innocent people end up in the line of fire, it’s absolutely horrific,” Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said Kristersson said, according to Swedish news agency TT.
Earlier this month, a 13-year-old boy was found shot in the head in woods, near his home near Stockholm. Prosecutor Lisa dos Santos said Thursday that his death was a chilling example of “gross and completely reckless gang violence.”
The violence reportedly is fueled by a feud over drugs and arms between two gangs, led by a dual Turkish-Swedish man who lives in Turkey and his former lieutenant.
Sweden’s center-right government has been tightening laws to tackle gang-related crime, while the head of Sweden’s police said earlier this month that warring gangs had brought an “unprecedented” wave of violence to the Scandinavian country.