19-Year-Old Rapper Killed in 'Execution-Style' Shooting, Media Believe Gang Responsible

Nineteen-year-old Swedish rapper Einar was shot "execution style" in Stockholm Thursday, and media reports say the killing was likely gang-related, according to the Associated Press.

Einar, whose real name is Nils Gronberg, allegedly had strong connections to local criminal gangs and, according to Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, had recently received several threats.

Einar died on the scene, south of central Stockholm, late Thursday, after being shot at point-blank range. Police are looking for at least two possible suspects, and no clear motive has been disclosed. According to Swedish public broadcaster SVT, the shooting was gang-related, the AP said.

In the past few years, Sweden has seen a rise in criminal activity, including several gang-related shootings. Two children were shot and injured by unknown Stockholm criminals in July, and three people were wounded in a gang-related shooting in August.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Swedish Rapper Einar Killed
Swedish rapper Einar, 19, was shot "execution-style" Thursday in Stockholm. Above, Einar on November 8, 2019. Jessica Gow/TT/Associated Press

Einar was born in Stockholm and rose to fame at the age of 16 when his song "Katten i trakten" from his debut album, Forsta klass, topped the Swedish charts in 2019.

He received the song of the year award in 2019 and the newcomer of the year award a year later. Einar's songs have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times on Spotify.

"I understand that he [Einar] meant a lot to many young people," Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told SVT. "This is of course tragic. It is a young life that has been extinguished."

Christian Democratic party leader Ebba Busch tweeted that if politicians don't take responsibility to deal with gang-related crime, "we can't stand up for human dignity or security in the country."

Center Party leader Annie Loof said most people "have had enough of the senseless violence and want to see gang crime fought."

According to Swedish tabloid Expressen, Einar was due to testify in a criminal gang trial next week, but Swedish prosecutors had earlier said they didn't expect him to show up in court.

A report by the Swedish national council for crime prevention said earlier this year that Sweden is the only European country where fatal shootings have risen significantly since 2000, primarily because of the violent activities of organized criminal gangs.

Swedish Rapper Einar Killed
In Stockholm on Friday, a man places a candle at a tribute near the site where Swedish rapper Einar was killed the day before. Henrik Montgomery/TT/Associated Press