A 20-year-old man with Down’s syndrome has been shot dead by Swedish police after he fled his home carrying a toy machine gun.
Eric Torell was gunned down by officers in the early hours of yesterday morning in response to what they called a "threatening situation".
He was pronounced dead at 5.45am local time (4.45am UK time) after at least three cops fired at him in Stockholm, according to local reports.
His grieving mum, Katarina Söderberg, has now revealed her fury, saying her son was "like a three-year-old" and was the "kindest person".
"It’s impossible to understand," Katarina told the Expressen newspaper. "He wouldn’t hurt a fly. He’s the kindest person in the world."
She added that Eric, who also had autism, had received the plastic toy weapon – which "looked a little like a submachine gun" – as a gift.
"He could not talk, he could only say Mom, Mom," she told the paper .
The young man had run away from his Stockholm home before. And yesterday, just hours before the shooting, he fled the property again.
He was reported missing by his dad, but ended up being shot dead by cops after he allegedly behaved "threateningly" when approached.
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The tragedy occurred at around 4am local time (3am UK time).
Police had reportedly been called to the scene in the capital’s Vasastan district following reports that a man was showing a gun to residents.
One witness said officers shouted for Eric to "lay down his weapon".
He was taken to hospital after being shot, but was later confirmed dead.
An investigation has now been launched into the incident.
According to his family, Eric was a friendly and loving young man.
"A threatening man’? He’s like a three-year-old," his mother said.
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