A GIRL was killed by a stray bullet during a drive-by shooting in Sweden outside a McDonald’s.
The 12-year-old, who was not believed to be the intended target, was hit by a bullet aimed at two men allegedly linked to a Swedish organised gang.
A makeshift memorial in the form of a heart with candles and flowers is seen at the site where a 12-year-old girl was killed in Botkryka [/caption]
A teddy bear and a note is seen at the memorial site[/caption]
The shooting happened early on Sunday morning near a McDonald’s [/caption]
The shooting happened just before 3:30am on Sunday morning near a McDonald’s in Botkyrka, located south of Stockholm.
A white Audi reportedly drove into the petrol station and shots were fired from inside the car, Expressen reports.
The 12-year-old was rushed to hospital but she later died from her injuries.
No arrests have been made, but police told AFP that they had opened a murder investigation and are seeking information about a white car seen at the time of the shooting.
Friends of the schoolgirl have paid tribute to the 12-year-old victim.
“We used to eat sushi. That’s all we did. It was our favourite food. We used to go to Heron City [shopping mall] and spend the day,” classmate Marieroze told Expressen.
The victim had reportedly planned her birthday in September, her friend Avan said.
Local Michel Rizk told Aftonbladet that he had arrived at the petrol station to refuel but found the premises was closed.
“I think it’s tragic. You get worried,” he said.
“I have children myself and it is only a matter of time before they run down to the gas station to buy something.”
People attending the scene to pay their respects to the victim [/caption]
Candles are lit as people pay tribute to the 12-year-old victim[/caption]
Amid Samir, who usually buys coffee from the fuel station, feared for his daughter’s safety.
“It’s awful. Sometimes you come here with the children, now you do not dare. My daughter is 12 years old. That bullet could’ve hit anyone,” Amid reportedly told Aftonbladet.
Sweden is considered one of the safest countries to visit due to its low level of crime.
However, gang-related violence including shootings, stabbings and explosions have been reported in major cities such as Malmo, Stockholm and Gothenburg.
Swedish legislators have vowed to continue the crackdown on gang violence following Sunday’s tragedy.
“We will investigate and do everything in our power to bring people behind this terrible act to justice,” national police chief Anders Thornberg told TT.
Opposition MP Johan Forsell called for a “re-think” to “make Sweden safer.”
Sweden launched a so-called “special national incident” in November 2019 which was designed to investigate violent crime incidents.
Sweden has given police extra surveillance powers, stepped up witness protection schemes and toughened sentencing for drugs and weapons-related crimes after a wave of shootings and bombings in recent years.
During the first six months of 2020, 20 people have been killed in 163 shootings, according to police data.
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In 2019, there were 42 deaths in 334 reported shootings.
Last August, two women, who were also not the intended targets, were shot in incidents just weeks apart.
Criminologist Ardavan Khoshnood told broadcaster SVT that in the last 10 years, about 15 innocent bystanders had been killed.
Young girls sat beside flowers and candles at the site[/caption]