COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The fatal shooting of three men in Malmo, Sweden's third largest city, was the latest incident in suburban feuds between criminal gangs fighting over territory or honor. Sweden's justice minister called the shootings an "abominable crime."
Police in Malmo said Tuesday that three of the men — aged 19, 27 and 29 — had died overnight. None of the victims were identified, in line with Swedish practice.
Three others — aged 21, 30 and 32 — had been injured — one seriously, Region Skane, the regional health authority for southern Sweden, said.
"It is an abominable crime and reminds us once again that our main task is to fight organized crime," Sweden's Justice Minister Morgan Johansson told Swedish news agency TT.
Malmo police chief Stefan Sinteus told a news conference that the shooting likely was linked to feuding criminal gangs that are fighting over territory and honor, conflicts which have become more common in major Swedish cities in recent years. In Malmo alone, there are three or four gang feuds, Sinteus said.
"Those involved are to be considered as gang-members who are involved in serious organized crime," Sinteus said. "It is unusual that three die in the same incident."
"We didn't see it coming," he added.
Sintenus said there was no motive for the late Monday shooting "but generally speaking" a feud could start over business conflicts, girls or a perceived lack of respect by others.
The men were shot as they left an internet cafe in the southeastern part of the southern Swedish city on Monday evening. Police could not confirm media reports that the shots had been fired from a car and that an automatic weapon had been used.
Police said a dozen shots were fired but no arrests have been made and they are looking for a dark vehicle.
The shots caused screaming among bystanders but police quickly said there was no reason for the public to worry.