Politicians in Sweden reacted strongly to a shooting incident in Flemingsberg, south of Stockholm, where two small children were injured.
“The fact that the violence takes place in an environment where innocent children live shows total indifference and ruthlessness,” Minister of the Interior Mikael Damberg noted in a written comment to TT.
Nine people have been arrested after two children were injured due to gunfire in Flemingsberg south of Stockholm on Saturday night. According to Swedish media, the children are five and six years old and were hit in the legs.
“I want to express my horror and anger over the violence that has affected two children in Flemingsberg,” Damberg said.
“Difficult to put into words”
Johan Forsell of the Moderates believes that the incident has crossed a line.
“This is terrible. It is almost difficult to put into words because this really stands out,” he told TT.
Forsell wants more action to prevent such incidents from happening again. Among other things, he wants Sweden to do as Denmark did and double the punishment if a perpetrator who has been convicted committed the crime in a gang-related context.
“What has been lacking in the debate in recent years is society’s right to be able to protect itself against very dangerous people,” he said.
In a post on Facebook, the Liberals’ party leader Nyamko Sabuni called for more police officers, abolishing penalty rebates, and providing better tools for the police.
Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch also commented on the incident via Twitter.
“This evil spares no means to cross new boundaries. It is simply sad that Sweden has ended up here, but we must acknowledge what reality looks like,” she said.
Spokeswoman for the Green Party, Märta Stenevi, said she was appalled and angry about what happened.
“The fact that violence penetrates environments where young children live is serious and completely unacceptable. Violence, weapons, and gangs have no place in our society,” she noted on Twitter.
The leader of the Left Party, Nooshi Dadgostar, also expresses his sympathy to those affected.
“Two small children who were out playing were hit by the shots. It shows a disgusting ruthlessness that frightens families. My thoughts go to the children and their loved ones,” she wrote in a Twitter message.
A fan outside of the stadium was one of three people wounded, according to Ashan Benedict, executive assistant chief of police for DC’s Metropolitan Police Department.
CNN journalists inside the stadium reported hearing multiple loud bangs during the bottom of the 6th inning in a game between the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres.
Fans fled their seats and sought shelter after hearing the gunfire. Benedict said there ultimately was no threat to people inside the stadium.
“I just want to assure the public that at no time during this incident were individuals inside the stadium attending the game in any kind of danger. This was not an active shooter incident and it’s not being investigated as such. Everything took place outside the stadium,” he said.
Benedict told reporters that two vehicles were involved in a “shootout” on a street outside of the stadium during the game. Police recovered one of the vehicles but the other remains at-large.
The two other people wounded in the shooting were associated with the recovered vehicle and are now in the hospital being questioned by police, according to Benedict. It’s unclear what their exact involvement was in the incident. Benedict also said those individuals were known to law enforcement.
The fan who was shot, a woman, is expected to recover, Benedict said. Police initially said in statements posted on Twitter that four people were shot.
The Washington Nationals had fans shelter-in-place inside the stadium during the immediate aftermath of the gunfire, according to Scott Fear, vice president for public safety and security for the Washington Nationals. A message on the scoreboard shortly after the shooting told fans to remain inside the baseball park, but it was later updated to say it was safe for fans to leave the stadium.
“We held shelter in place for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. At that time we said fans were allowed, not that they had to, but they were allowed to exit through Center Field Gates and Right Field Gates on the other side of the stadium, because MPD had let me know that it was safe enough that they could go outside, out of the gate that way,” said Fear.
The remainder of the game was suspended until Sunday afternoon, the Nationals said on Twitter.
“The suspended game will resume beginning at 1:05 PM ET and be completed as a nine-inning regulation game,” the team said.
Game 3 of the Nationals-Padres series that was originally scheduled to begin at the same time Sunday but will instead be played at the conclusion of the suspended game, the team said.
San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. posted on Twitter his appreciation for those who responded to the shooting.
“Hope everyone is safe! Just keep the prayers up thank you everyone that help in the front line! God bless,” he said.
CNN’s Sam Feist, Lindsey Knox, Morgan Rimmer, Sonnet Swire, Aya Elamroussi, Andy Rose and Jacob Lev contributed to this report.
Medan, Indonesia – Just a few days before he was fatally shot in the thigh, Indonesian journalist Mara Salem Harahap, who was known as Marsal, took his wife and two children on a family outing to the city of Medan in North Sumatra, about two hours away from their home. During the trip, they took a family photograph together and Marsal shared the picture on social media.
“This was highly unusual,” his friend and fellow journalist, Rencana Siregar, told Al Jazeera. “In the 12 years that we had been friends, he hardly ever posted personal pictures. He wanted to protect his family.”
Marsal, the editor-in-chief of Lasser News Today, an online news site based in Pematangsiantar, a city of about a quarter of million people in the heart of Sumatra, had every reason to be cautious.
During the previous few months, the 46-year-old had written about a local nightclub in the city that he alleged was linked to organised crime, gambling and drug dealing. In addition to writing about the nightclub, Marsal had also posted about it on his Facebook account.
“He was like my adopted brother,” Rencana said. “Two weeks before his death, he came to see me and we talked about his work investigating the nightclub. We talked for a long time, maybe five hours. He was very persuasive when he told me it needed to be investigated and he was a tough journalist. He didn’t seem scared.”
That was the last time Rencana saw Marsal.
On the evening of June 18, Marsal was shot and killed in his car about 300 metres (984 feet) from his home.
Six days later, the North Sumatra police chief, Inspector General Panca Putra, announced that two suspects had been arrested – the owner of the nightclub that Marsal had been investigating and an unidentified army official.
According to the police chief, Marsal had met the owner of the nightclub previously, who had complained about the unflattering media coverage.
The motive for the murder was to, “teach the victim a lesson”, Panca said at a news conference last week, although it is unclear if the army official and the nightclub owner planned to kill Marsal or simply scare him.
“The murder of Mara Salem Harahap is the fourth case of violence against journalists that has occurred in North Sumatra in the past month,” Liston Damanik, the head of the Indonesian Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) in Medan, told Al Jazeera. “Cases like this and atrocities against journalists are increasing, presumably because there is no legal certainty from the police regarding these cases.”
Liston added that, on 29 May, unidentified assailants tried to burn down the home of another journalist also based in Pematangsiantar, and that, on 31 May, a Metro TV journalist’s car was set ablaze. On 13 June, Molotov cocktails were thrown into the home of the parents of a third journalist in the city of Binjai on the outskirts of Medan.
While AJI does not have firm data on acts of violence against journalists in North Sumatra due to underreporting and a lack of prosecutions, Liston said the recent spate of attacks show the dangers faced by journalists in the region. These can include physical violence, as well as legal problems, such as prosecution under Indonesia’s broadly worded Electronic Information and Transactions Law (UUITE).
The law has increasingly been used against journalists in recent years in place of Indonesia’s traditional Press Law, which affords journalists a level of professional protection against libel and defamation cases and which is usually processed in consultation with Indonesia’s Press Council in the first instance, rather than with local police authorities directly.
“Journalists in North Sumatra are not only threatened with being ensnared by the ITE Law, but now their houses are being pelted with Molotov cocktails, allegedly by people who are not happy with their journalistic work,” Liston said.
Freedoms under Fire
In neighbouring Malaysia, journalists have also found themselves under pressure, including Tashny Sukumaran, now a senior analyst at think-tank ISIS Malaysia.
A journalist for 10 years, she previously worked for Malaysian English-language paper The Star and the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.
“I was involved in several cases last year related to my reporting and writing, including a book on the general election I contributed to being banned,” she told Al Jazeera. “On May Day, I reported on an immigration raid in a COVID-19 ‘red zone’ in the heart of Kuala Lumpur and both tweeted and wrote a story on the raid.”
A few days later, Tashny was told that the police wanted to interrogate her under the Communications and Multimedia Act and Section 504 of the Malaysian Penal Code. Her phone was seized and has yet to be returned to her, and she faced approximately five pages of questions about her reportage. Al Jazeera was also investigated for a documentary on the treatment of migrants during the country’s first lockdown.
“Fundamental freedoms have been in decline under the Perikatan Nasional’s government since March 2020,” Nalini Elumalai, the Malaysia senior programme officer at ARTICLE 19, which advocates for the reform of laws that restrict free expression and documents violations of freedom of expression in Malaysia, told Al Jazeera.
“The government has cracked down on criticism of the state and state entities, undermining the important role of public accountability, and sending a clear message that dissent will not be tolerated. Media is one of the main targets of these attacks.”
Nalini added that the authorities in Malaysia have harassed, investigated, prosecuted and denied the right to access information of the media and that, “the government’s stance towards independent media has been particularly aggressive, with journalists regularly facing legal harassment and threats.”
In 2021, Malaysian online newspaper Malaysiakini was fined 500,000 Malaysian ringgit ($ 120,328) for reader comments on its site, and five of its journalists were summoned for questioning, Wathshlah G Naidu, executive director of Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) in Malaysia, told Al Jazeera.
Other media outlets including China Press and Free Malaysia Today also had journalists who were questioned by police for their reporting, both this year and in 2020.
“Various repressive and archaic laws were used against the media and journalists last year,” Wathshlah said. “These laws include Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia (CMA) Act 1998, the Sedition Act 1948, Section 504 of the Penal Code, Section 505 of the Penal Code and the Printing Presses and Publications (PPPA) Act 1984. Other laws include Section 203A of the Penal Code and Section 114A of the Evidence Act 1950. The trend is often to target and intimidate the media using these laws when the government is portrayed in a negative light.”
The Perikatan Nasional administration of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin took control of the country in March 2020 amid the collapse of the government elected two years before.
In January of this year, Muhyddin declared an “Emergency” including the suspension of Parliament, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In March, the government used its emergency powers to impose a sweeping “Fake News” Law, which the previous government had repealed.
“We are rather concerned with the status of media freedom in Malaysia and the related trend of limiting access, harassment and intimidation against the media by the authorities,” Wathshlah said, noting Malaysia’s ranking in the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) annual press freedom index had dropped 18 places to 119 (out of 180 countries ranked). The previous year, it had recorded its best-ever ranking at 101.
In the same index, Indonesia was slightly above Malaysia in 113th place, although the report also noted that, “Many journalists say they censor themselves because of the threat from an anti-blasphemy law and the Law on ‘Informasi dan Transaksi Elektronik’ (Electronic and Information Transactions Law).
“In 2020, the government took advantage of the Covid-19 crisis to reinforce its repressive weaponry against journalists, who are now banned from publishing not only ‘false information’ related to the coronavirus but also any ‘information hostile to the president or government’, the report continued.
Rencana says the authorities need to provide more support to journalists, so that they can do their jobs without fear.
“We need the police to help us, especially during the pandemic when our work is even tougher than usual,” he said. “How can we be professional when we have to deal with all of these problems at the same time, and worry about being shot or arrested when we are just trying to do our jobs?”
“This is a democracy, but how can a democracy function in such conditions?”
The victim is undergoing surgery following the incident in the inner-city area of Moss Side. Police swarmed Rosebery Street tonight and erected a cordon around several roads. At least 10 police vehicles were seen parked near the tape, including armed response vehicles, following the reported shooting.
The cordon is in place at Rosebury Street at the junctions with Greame Street and Alison Street.
People at the scene said officers arrived at around 8.30pm.
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said a man was undergoing surgery for gunshot wounds.
They said he self-presented at a hospital with his injuries.
They said: “At about 8.20pm today (5 July), officers were called to Rosebery Street, Moss Side, to reports of a shooting.
“A 20-year-old man self-presented at hospital with gunshot wounds and is undergoing surgery.
“There is a scene in place in and around Rosebery Street and there are road closures in place.
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Independence Day is around the corner, and the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office is encouraging those participating in fireworks to understand and practice safety.
“A professional public fireworks display is a great way to celebrate and enjoy fireworks with your family and friends; it is also the safest,” Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie L. Christensen said in a news release. “If you choose to celebrate Independence Day with consumer fireworks, please read the cautionary labels and dispose of your fireworks properly.”
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — The sister of a woman who was shot four times while holding her 1-year-old son is speaking out after her death.
Since police haven’t identified the victim, we’re not naming the sister, but she said, “She was a really great mother. She died protecting her son, because he was on her hip when she fell. She fell on top of him and he continued to shoot.”
Police say this was a domestic violence incident that happened outside the victim’s Westchase-area apartment Thursday morning.
Authorities said the incident started as a domestic dispute. When officials arrived, the woman was in critical condition. Emergency personnel gave administered CPR and were able to identify a pulse, but she died at the hospital.
According to police, a bullet struck the 1-year-old boy’s ankle. He was also transported to Memorial Hermann, where he is stable.
“He’s doing really well. He was shot in the leg, (but) the bullet went in and out,” said the victim’s sister.
While police have not identified the suspect, they say he is the father of the child. Officials said the man was out of jail on seven felony bonds and had an ankle monitor. However, it’s unclear if he was wearing the device at the time of the shooting.
Police were looking for him Thursday afternoon.
“He’s a felon, a menace to society. He’s a person that should not have been walking free,” the sister said.
Court documents show the suspect posted bond on charges, including evading arrest, felon in possession of a weapon, assault bodily injury, and assault of a family member. ABC13 is waiting to hear back from the judge who granted the bond to find out why he would be given yet another bond.
The victim’s sister blames the system, saying, “They failed to protect her. Because she would still be here (Thursday) if he wouldn’t have kept getting out on bond.”
“We wonder what could we have done to prevent this. Once again, we don’t want to put any fault anywhere, however, with the suspect being out on bond for seven major felonies, this could have been prevented,” said HPD Asst. Chief Patricia Cantu.
Now, the victim’s family is hoping for justice, soon.
“Keep us in your prayers… just pray for my nephew,” says the woman.
GET HELP: If you need help getting out of a domestic violence situation, call the Houston Area Women’s Center 24/7 hotline at 713-528-2121 or call AVDA at 713-224-9911. You can also click here to chat with an advocate online. If you are deaf or hard of hearing and need help, call 713-528-3625.
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A 16-year-old suspect was arrested Friday afternoon for the deadly shooting of Elsa Mikeska, a 62-year-old grandmother, outside of a southeast Houston gym last week, Houston police said.
HPD homicide detectives will not be releasing the suspect’s name or photo due to his age.
“I want to commend our detectives for their diligent efforts in this case,” said HPD Chief Troy Finner in a tweet. “As with any tragic loss of life, we share in the Mikeska family’s grief, and want them, and all families who have lost loved ones to violence to know we will work tirelessly to bring these criminals to justice.”
I want to commend our detectives for their diligent efforts in this case. As with any tragic loss of life, we share in the Mikeska family’s grief & want them & all families who have lost loved ones to violence to know we will work tirelessly to bring these criminals to justice. https://t.co/UP9nAm7Igz
Last Thursday, Mikeska was arriving for a 5 a.m. exercise class when she was ambushed in the parking lot in an attempted robbery.
Now, a makeshift memorial sits next to the spot where Mikeska died outside Life Fit Personal Fitness Studio, located in the 10500 block of Fuqua Street near Beamer Road.
Her funeral took place Thursday.
Late Thursday, Houston police released surveillance video of the suspects’ vehicle.
The suspects’ white Chevrolet SUV parked near the victim just before 5 a.m. Thursday, and two people got out. Officers say the suspects confronted the woman and she took off running toward the gym before they opened fire, killing her.
Mikeska was a member of the gym and fellow gym members described her as a regular.
The gym shooting wasn’t the only incident police believe the suspects are connected to.
An hour before, officers say the suspects attempted to carjack a vehicle from a woman at 10100 Freehill Street, about two miles from the gym. The car was broken down, so they weren’t able to steal it. The victim ran, and no shots were fired.
Officers said they aren’t sure why the suspects opened fire when the victim ran toward the gym.
Police said the investigation remains active despite the arrest. They added that they’re looking for information regarding other individuals believed to be in the SUV, which HPD identified as a Suburban.
The suspects are described only as possibly Hispanic males in their early 20s, police said.
If anyone has any information to share, please call HPD Homicide 713-308-3600 or remain anonymous and call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.