Malmö residents protest violence

Thousands take to the streets in response to recent shootings

In response to the recent spate of shootings in the city, Malmö residents took to the streets in protest on Friday.

According to police estimates, upwards of 6,000 people gathered at Gustav Adolfs Plads for a demonstration that included speeches, music and the burning of candles.

The demonstrators were responding to a recent string of shootings that have seen five people killed since late November, the most recent being a 48-year-old man who was shot to death last week on Tuesday.

Public outrage was fanned by the murder of a 15-year-old boy on New YearÂ’s Day. Police say that the boy was likely killed in retaliation for scaring a girl with fireworks.

According to SwedenÂ’s English-language news site The Local, FridayÂ’s protest was organised on Facebook in direct response to the 15-year-oldÂ’s death.

One of the organisers, according to The Local, was former Swedish MP Luciano Astudillo. Speaking to Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, Astudillo said that Malmö is increasingly being viewed as a violent city.

“[Malmö] is such a young city and people move here because they think that’s positive, but the violence denigrates that image and it frightens people,” Astudillo told Dagens Nyheter.

In addition to the latest shootings, Malmö suffered a prolonged series of racially-motivated shootings between October 2009 and October 2010. An estimated 50 shootings occurred targeting immigrants. At least three people will killed. A 38-year-old man was arrested for the racially-motivated shootings on 19 charges of murder and attempted murder.