Witness to fatal shooting: ”I heard him cry out”
The story begins when our witness comes home from work. He does not want to be named for fear of being pursued by gangs in the area.
– I was taking it easy in the living-room and enjoying not having anything to do. I heard shots being fired, about three, and I heard a man call out.
The witness went to the window to see what was going on.
– I saw two young men in their twenties running away towards the inner courtyards. They were wearing black jackets and had black masks that covered their faces, and they disappeared in no time at all.
From his flat the witness has a clear view over the area surrounding the place of the murder. He was unable to see the young man who was shot.
But he could see a car standing parked by the roundabout near the spot where the shooting took place. The car drove away from the scene seconds after the shots. The witness reports that after that it was quiet in the area for several minutes before the police and an ambulance arrived.
He links the incidents together and believes the car and the two young men who ran off can have something to do with the fatal shooting.
– I can't say absolutely that one of them shot the victim, but I saw them, and they had masks covering their faces, and they were in a hurry. But you can't be sure they weren't quite simply in the area at the same time and were running for their lives.
The man says the situation in the area has become unbearable.
– We can't put up with this any longer. We who live here are people as well, and we flatly refuse to accept this state of things.
He says he doesn't intend to inform the authorities or be a witness, because firstly he thinks that tipping off the police leads nowhere, and secondly he is afraid of threats and violence.
But is it not true that witnesses are a prime source of information in Swedish courts of law, and in many cases what witnesses say is important in getting the accused condemned?
– I can't put myself or my family at risk. Is there anyone in his proper senses who would expose himself or his family to the risk of being killed or threatened by criminal groups?
The problem of witnesses refusing to take part in trials is a problem that has been discussed more and more frequently in the media and by the judicial system, and it is on the increase.
In a survey carried out by Kristianstadsbladet/ Norra Skåne , when the question was asked after Friday prayers outside the mosque at Näsby, eight out of ten people answered that they would not dare to witness in court.
– Witnesses must be left with a sense of security, they must not feel abandoned and vulnerable.
But even though he does not want to witness, he thinks that what has happened and what he and others in the area are experiencing must be made known to more people.
– We must reach out to politicians, the police, organisations in the community and people active in the area. All of us must take our responsibility.