STOCKHOLM â€” The fatal shooting of two men in their 20s is the latest incident in suburban feuds between criminal gangs fighting over territory, police in Stockholm said Thursday, calling the situation “alarming and very serious.”
The men were shot dead late Wednesday while sitting in a car in a residential area of Kista, northwest of the Swedish capital.
In 2017 alone there have been 17 shooting episodes in Stockholm with seven dead â€” including five this week â€” and 14 injured, local police chief Ulf Johansson said. He added attacks have included the use of Kalashnikov-style rifles and hand grenades.
“These are young men with access to weapons,” Johansson said, adding there are up to 12 conflicts in the Stockholm area between criminal gangs over drug markets and territory.
“This is of course alarming and very serious,” he told a news conference.
Johansson said police in the Swedish capital had asked for extra resources but didn’t give details.
No suspects have been arrested after the overnight shooting and the motive was not known.
Swedish broadcaster SVT and Expressen tabloid said one of those killed late Wednesday was a leading member of the Lion group, which it described as well-known for its drug-linked criminal activities. SVT said the Lions were in conflict with the Wolfpack Brotherhood and the shooting may be linked to that.
Police declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.
Swedish media said the victims were shot in the head several times, adding investigators would look at previous incidents in the area. On Monday, two people were stabbed to death in another, nearby Stockholm suburb. It was unclear if the cases were linked.
Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark contributed to this story.
David Keyton, The Associated Press