Police Shoot And Kill 20-Year-Old Man With Down Syndrome Who Was Carrying A Toy Gun

Police need better training all around the world. Now you probably read the title and thought, “Oh did this happen in Florida? Alabama?” Nope, of all places this happened in Sweden this past week.

Eric Torell had gone missing from his home, which he was known to do before according to his mother, Katarina Söderberg. Eric had Down Syndrome which hindered is ability to speak. According to the website, Expressen, Eric left his home with a toy gun that looked a bit like a submachine gun.

Now I don’t really know why you would give a child or someone with the mind of a child a toy gun, but I digress.

Image Via Twitter

The police report says that a call was made after there were concerns that there was a man with a gun in the Vasastan district of Stockholm around 4 AM.

Once officers arrived on the scene, they ordered Eric to put down the gun. He didn’t comply because, well he probably didn’t understand why strangers were yelling at him in the dead of night.

When he wouldn’t put the “gun” down they shot him because he was acting ‘threateningly.’

According to Expressen, someone nearby heard it all go down and then looked out the window:

“I heard gun shots and woke up. When I looked out I saw policemen. They shouted that someone should lay down his weapon and lie on the ground. Then more police arrived and also an ambulance.”

Image Via Twitter

Eric was rushed to the hospital but couldn’t save him. Eric’s mother, Katarina, had this to say about the incident:

“It’s impossible to understand. He wouldn’t hurt a fly. He’s the kindest person in the world.

Even if he made a mistake, even if he went outside with a pistol thing, a toy gun, do they have to shoot him dead because of that?

It was light outside, you can see a mile away that he’s got Down syndrome. It can’t be missed.

A ‘threatening man’? He’s like a 3-year-old.”


She went onto say that pretty much the only word he knew how to say was mom. As of right now, an investigation is happening to figure out if there was police misconduct going on. I have a feeling they might find just a little bit.

Eric’s father, Rickard said that:

“I woke up because Eric was gone. I went out and looked for him. I saw police cars on the street.

Three police officers shot him in his stomach.”

Image Via Expressen

As the investigation is underway, the Regional policeman in Stockholm, Ulf Johansson, said this in a press release:

“It is very tragic for everyone involved and I have a great understanding and respect for what has occurred, which causes very upset feelings.

With all due respect for the family to the deceased, my thoughts obviously also go to the policymakers who have been involved in this event.”

I hope something was lost in translation because this seems like the coldest apology I’ve ever heard. We sure hope Eric and his family get justice for what took place.

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