Man with Down syndrome carrying toy gun shot dead by Swedish police

A 20-year-old man with Down syndrome was shot to death by police Thursday in Sweden, who believed the toy gun he was carrying was a real firearm, the Independent reported.

Stockholm police opened fire on Eric Torell, who had disappeared from his home Wednesday night and took a plastic replica gun from a pile of toys.

"I woke up because Eric was gone," Richard Torell told Expressen. "I went out and looked for him. I saw police cars on the street.

“Three police officers shot him in his stomach.”

Police were called to the Vasastan section of Stockholm when the younger Torell was showing the small toy gun to residents, the Independent reported.

According to the Swedish Police Authority, officers believed the scene was "threatening," The Washington Post reported.

Torell was shot three times in the stomach and taken to a hospital, where he died.

Torell's mother, Katarina Söderberg, described her son as "wonderful" and "the world's most loving person," the Independent reported.

"We are completely destroyed, we are in shock. I cannot believe it's true," Söderberg told Stockholm-based newspaper Aftonbladet.

“Of course, it was very unfortunate that he had (the gun) for some reason.

“But why do you have to kill him, why not shoot him in the foot? And from three policemen? You cannot be shot by a piece of plastic.”

On Friday, Martin Tiden, the Swedish prosecutor investigating the case, said in a statement that foul play was not suspected, the Post reported.

“The man held a weapon-like object, and officers opened fire after judging the situation as threatening,” Tiden said.

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