Swedish man denies serial shootings

Monday, May 14, 2012

Peter Mangs, 40, has gone on trial in Sweden today, pleading not guilty to three murders and twelve attempted murders. Mangs is accused of a string of shootings in Malmö.

File photo of a Glock 19, like Mangs is alleged to have used.

The shootings appeared to have targeted immigrants although the prosecution presents the exact motive as unclear; last week prosecutor Solveig Wollstad said "There is a certain level of xenophobia but also other things, like aggression towards people who have previously been found guilty of crime." Lists in Mangs home detailed immigrants, Swedish Jews, and convicts.

Wollstad told the court Mangs also had a Glock 19 pistol, silencer, gun parts, ammunition, wigs, ski masks, knives, combat vest, and a book on John 'Laser Man' Ausonius. Ausonius used a laser-sighted rifle to shoot people in the 1990s in Stockholm and Uppsala; he is serving life for murder and several attempted murders. Local media has compared his case with the present one.

Other evidence includes a recording made in 2003 in which Mangs incriminates a neighbour for one of the murders, and claims from his friends that he boasted to have killed immigrants. Mangs is accused of two murders in 2003, plus a string of shootings beginning in November 2009 and ending with his arrest a year later.

Victims were shot at through windows, in vehicles, and on the street. In one case a mosque was attacked. The deceased are two immigrants in their sixties killed in 2003, and a local 20-year-old woman shot in a car she was sharing with an immigrant. If convicted of murder at the 24-day trial's conclusion, Mangs can be sentenced to from ten to eighteen years imprisonment.

Prosecutors say Mangs planned to kill another man, taking his gun to a home. Mangs's Glock 19 was modified and the prosecution claims this was an attempt to foil ballistics experts. He denies all charges, except for admitting damaging some property by firing at it.

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