A 20-year-old man with Down’s syndrome and a form of autism has reportedly been shot dead by police in Sweden while carrying a toy gun.
Eric Torell died after disappearing from his home in Stockholm. Officers opened fire during what they described as a “threatening situation”.
According to Swedish newspaper Expressen, the man was shot at by at least three officers at 4am on Thursday after he was seen with the plastic toy which resembled a sub-machine gun.
His family had reported Mr Torell, who struggled with speech and only ever used the word “mum”, missing just hours earlier. He had gone missing before.
The man was taken to hospital but was later confirmed dead from his injuries.
Mr Torell’s mother Katarina Soderberg told the newspaper her son was “the kindest person in the world” and that he “wouldn’t hurt a fly”.
Speaking about the toy he was carrying, she said: “He got it as a gift. It looked a little like a sub-machine gun. Until now it was just thrown in a pile of toys.”
Ms Soderberg expressed her anger over the killing, saying her severely disabled son was “like a three-year-old”.
“It’s impossible to understand,” she said. “He wouldn’t hurt a fly. He’s the kindest person in the world.”
An investigation into possible police misconduct is reportedly under way.