Stockholm residents were left running for cover when police entered into a shootout with a gang of thieves at a jewellery store in the centre of the city.
Officers fired a total of 16 shots, the majority of which went through the window of a nearby gym, after the thieves apparently fired at them while trying to escape last Tuesday afternoon.
“At first I thought it was firecrackers, but when I looked outside I saw police with machine guns and shields over their faces. Everyone ran for cover,” eye witness Mats Wiksten told the Expressen newspaper. “There was a group of school children who had just left school who ran like crazy,” he added.
Three people were arrested on suspicion of robbery, and it is not believed that anyone was injured in the shootout.
“We’re looking around the area to make sure that no one was hurt,” police spokesperson Ulf Lindgren told the TT news agency. “When officers arrived the perpetrators were still there and just about to make their getaway.”
Eleven of the 16 shots fired by officers went through the window of a nearby gym, narrowly missing patrons and employees.
“We had guardian angels,” gym owner Per Althini told Expressen.”If the girl at the reception had been ten centimetres to the right, she would have been hit,” he said. “When you stand here and look at all the bullet holes at such heights…if someone had been standing in the wrong place, it wouldn’t have been fun,” Althini told the newspaper.