Stockholm: 20-year-old Eric Torrell was shot by the police as he was seen walking with what appeared to be a gun around Vasastan district in central Stockholm.
According to Swedish police authority, officers assumed the scene was ‘threatening’.
According to a report, Torrell’s family said that he had Down syndrome, autism and was essentially nonverbal. They also said that his vocabulary mainly had the word ‘mum’ (mother) and about the weapon in his hand, they clarified that it was a toy gun.
Katarina Soderberg, mother of Eric said, "We are furious because of their lying and making up things. A threatening man? He's like a 3-year-old."
Torrell's father said that "three police officers shot him in his stomach."
Stockholm police, in a statement, said that their officers wound up in ‘threatening situation’ while searching for someone and then opened fire on him.
Martin Tiden, Swedish prosecutor investigating the case said that multiple officers fired at Eric but none of them are suspected of foul play.
"The man held a weapon-like object and officers opened fire after judging the situation as threatening," Tiden said.
Ulf Johansson, regional chief of police in Stockholm, said that Torrell's death was "very tragic for everyone involved."
Johansson also stated from his experience that decisions like these are difficult as it is unclear and high-pressure situations and must be taken within seconds.
John Stauffer, legal director at Civil Rights Defenders, a watchdog group in Sweden, said it’s too early to decide whether the police acted improperly or not. But the police interventions have increased the number of deaths.