This boy in Sweden was killed but the motive is unclear

Published: 28th Mar 2019

In brief


An image shows Arminas Pileckas, a 15 year-old student in Sweden stabbed and killed after protecting a girl in his class who was being sexually harassed by a 14 year-old Syrian refugee. Neither the Syrian boy nor his parents face any charges.


The image does show Arminas Pileckas, a 15 year-old Lithuanian student in Sweden who was fatally stabbed while at school by a 14 year-old boy from Syria in January 2016. The motive is unclear. The boy wasn’t prosecuted as he was below the age of criminal responsibility in Sweden.

A widely shared Facebook post claims to show a student in Sweden killed by a “Syrian refugee” classmate after he defended another female classmate against sexual harassment.

Text accompanying the purported image of the student says: “Hi, my name is Arminas Pileckas. I’m a 15-year old student in Sweden. I protected a girl in my class who was sexually harassed by a 14-year old Syrian refugee. The Syrian killed me by stabbing me in the back because I insulted his honor. Neither the boy or his parents are facing any charges.”

It’s correct that in January 2016 a 15 year-old boy, Arminas Pileckas, who was reportedly originally from Lithuania, was stabbed and killed by another student at a school in Broby, Sweden. But no one has been able to confirm to us the motive behind the attack.

The student who attacked him was reportedly 14 years old but media reports from the time confirm little else about him. An interview with the suspect’s father in Al Kompis (an Arabic language media organisation primarily operating in Sweden) reported that the boy was originally from Syria.

Shortly after Arminas Pileckas died, Swedish police said they didn’t know exactly what lay behind the attack, but that they didn’t think it was random and they believed there was an ongoing conflict between the two boys.

A number of possible motives were reported at the time, from ongoing bullying between the two boys, to an altercation involving another student in the school.

We’ve asked police in Sweden for more information. 

The 14 year-old who carried out the attack wasn’t prosecuted as he was below the age of criminal responsibility in Sweden (which is 15 years old). An article about the case by Snopes in January 2019 cited Nils Karlsson, a member of the municipal council in the Swedish city of Malmö. He said of the suspect: “He was turned over to social services and they operate under very strict secrecy. So those who know more about the case are forbidden by law to talk about it.”

This article is part of our work factchecking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as a mixture as the motives behind the attack are unclear.


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