Olof Palme – The assassination of the Prime Minister of Sweden in Stockholm

Close to midnight on 28 February 1986, he was walking home from a cinema with his wife Lisbet Palme in the central Stockholm street Sveavägen when he was shot in the back at close range. A second shot grazed Lisbet’s back. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Sabbatsberg Hospital at 00:06 CET. Lisbet survived without serious injuries.

Crossing of Sveavägen–Tunnelgatan where Palme was shot. Political violence was little-known in Sweden at the time, and Olof Palme often went about without a bodyguard / Image source

Christer Pettersson, a murderer, small-time criminal and drug addict, was convicted of Palme’s murder, but his conviction was overturned. Another suspect, Victor Gunnarsson, emigrated to the United States, where he was the victim of an unrelated murder in 1993. The assassination remains unsolved.

Sven Olof Joachim Palme was a Swedish politician and statesman. A longtime protégé of Prime Minister Tage Erlander, Palme led the Swedish Social Democratic Party from 1969 until his assassination in 1986, and was twice Prime Minister of Sweden, heading a Privy Council Government from 1969 to 1976 and a cabinet government from 1982 until his death.

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