(Bloomberg) -- One of Sweden’s biggest artists became the latest victim in a spate of deadly gun violence that has rattled the largest Scandinavian country.
19-year old rapper Nils Gronberg, known by stage name Einar, was shot and killed late Thursday night. Einar, the third most streamed artist on Spotify in Sweden last year, adds to the tally of deaths from shootings that have engulfed Swedish suburbs where conflicts between rivaling gangs have intensified.
At least 110 shootings have been reported this year in Stockholm alone, and at least 21 people have been killed. In the entire country, at least 41 people, including Einar, have been shot to death, as the number of gun homicides almost trebled from 2012 to 2020. That development sets Sweden apart from the rest of Europe, where deadly shootings have decreased in the last decade.
Einar shot to fame in 2019, at only 16 years of age, spearheading a wave of Swedish-language gangster rap. After scoring several chart-topping hits, in 2020 he was kidnapped by people associated with a criminal gang from Stockholm’s southern suburbs.
According to local media, two persons were seen fleeing the scene of the crime on Thursday. No arrests have been made.
His murder is likely to fan the flames of a heated political debate about crime and measures to curb the violence. While the Social Democratic-led government has increased penalties for gun possession and murder, and is trying to boost the ranks of the police, opposition parties are calling for more powers to law enforcement, as a small minority of gang-related murders have been solved.
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