STOCKHOLM — A Swedish man suspected of a yearlong shooting spree against immigrants in the southern part of the country was ordered held in jail yesterday on preliminary charges of murder in one slaying and five attempted murder counts.
The suspect, identified in a court document as 38-year-old Peter Mangs, was arrested at his apartment in the city of Malmo over the weekend. Police said he denied the allegations.
Investigators have been searching for a lone gunman who has terrorized Malmo since October 2009 with more than a dozen shootings of people with immigrant backgrounds.
The victims have been shot at bus stops, in their cars, and through the window of a gym. One of them was killed and at least seven were injured.
After a closed-door hearing in Malmo’s district court, Prosecutor Solveig Wollstad said the judge approved her request to keep Mangs in custody as she prepares formal charges.
She said the suspicions against him have strengthened since the arrest, but declined to comment on a report in the Swedish newspaper Expressen that experts had linked one of two firearms seized at his apartment to some of the shootings.
Police earlier said he held a license for the gun and didn’t have a criminal record. They did not speculate on a motive.
. “It’s very hard to ask questions about the motive to a person who denies that he’s done it,’’ a police spokesman said.
The first shooting was on Oct. 10, 2009, when a 21-year-old convicted drug smuggler on furlough from prison was shot in the head in a parked car. He survived, but Swedish media said a 20-year-old woman in the car was hit in the head and died.