Police were called to the shooting at 3.27am on Sunday at a fuel station in the Norsborg area of Botkyrka, south of Stockholm. The girl was taken to hospital, but later died from her injuries. According to unconfirmed reports in several Swedish newspapers, she was hit by a stray bullet and had not been the intended target.
Friends of the girl and local residents gathered on the site on Sunday to pay tribute to her.
“She was always full of energy and wanted what's best for everyone. She had dreams. She deserves all the best,” a 13-year-old friend who had come to the fuel station to light candles, told newspaper Expressen.
A mother-of-three whose son was also friends with the girl and had lived in the area her entire life, told Aftonbladet that her son had been planning to go swimming with the girl the following day. She said she and her children used to go to the fuel station regularly to eat at the nearby PizzaHut or McDonalds.
“We felt safe, but now there is no safety. I don't know what it would feel like to come here and eat in the future,” she said.
Meanwhile, police and decision-makers pledged to continue the crackdown on violent crime in Sweden.
“My thoughts are first and foremost with the girl's family and loved ones, but also to everyone in the area. Nobody should have to fear shootings and other violence where they live,” said national police chief Anders Thornberg in a comment to TT.
“We will investigate and do everything in our power to bring the people behind this terrible act to justice. We will collect witness statements, forensic evidence and all material that could help us move the investigation forward. But how successful we are also depends on those who know anything about the incident coming forward and helping us solve the crime.”
“We are going to set things right when it comes to increasingly serious violence in society, but in order to do that we have to continue to work together. When school, social services, police, civil society and citizens work together we will eventually succeed.”
Home Affairs Minister Mikael Damberg said he was “shocked and disgusted”.
“I am aware that no words are enough for those who have lost a child in this awful way, but I still want to say that our thoughts are with you and that we share your grief in these difficult times. The government will continue to expand society's crime-fighting capacity with more police, tougher punishments and preventive work,” he wrote in a comment to TT.
Sweden launched a so-called “special national incident” in November 2019 to look into violent gang crime incidents, but the number of shootings increased in the first four months of 2020 compared to last year.
Fifteen people were killed in 98 shootings between January and April, according to police statistics released earlier this year. In the same period of 2019, there were 81 shootings with 15 people killed.
However, the number of fatal shootings has remained relatively unchanged compared to previous years. Nine people were killed in 76 shootings during the same four months in 2018, and the year before that a total of 16 people were killed in 99 shootings.