An ex-gang leader was shot dead in Denmark at the launch of his tell-all book about the criminal underworld

  • Former gang leader Nedim Yasar was shot and killed as he left the launch of his new book in Copenhagen on Monday.
  • Yasar’s book promised a deep look at the country’s criminal underworld and his account of how he left a life of crime.
  • Yasar led a notorious gang linked to the drug trade, police said, but the country’s justice minister said Yasar had become a “man who with all his heart wanted to create a new life.”
  • He reported last year that he was the victim of an attempted assault.

A former Danish gang leader was shot dead as he left the launch of his tell-all book about the country’s underworld and how he left it behind.

Nedim Yasar, 31, was targeted as he left the book launch in Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, on Monday, Copenhagen Police said in a statement.

Officer said a man in dark clothes fired two shots at Yasar, then fled on foot. He died from his injuries in hospital the following day.

In his memoir, titled “Roots,” Yasar provided “a report of comrades and war, business and prisons – and about the countless unwritten rules that regulate both violence and power in the criminal parallel communities,” according to his publisher, People’s Press.

It went on sale on Tuesday, the day he died.

Yasar previously led Los Guerreros, a notorious gang with links to the drugs trade, the BBC reported, citing the police.

He quit the gang in 2012 and joined a reform programme after he learned he was going to be a father, according to the BBC. He reported last year that he was the victim of an attempted assault last year, the outlet reported.

His publisher paid tribute to Yasar on Facebook, where it wrote that minutes before he was killed, “we had waved goodbye and hugged a happy and proud writer.”

The publisher honored “his courage to stand in public over the last few years as a model and an example of the fact that it is possible to seek and want a new life.”

“The model has now died,” it said, “because some brutal and ruthless forces in this society do not believe that this freedom should apply to everyone.”

Yasar shared a picture of the book’s cover on Twitter on November 1. In the caption, originally in Danish, he says that the book is “finally finished” and can be purchased on November 20.

Denmark’s Justice Minister, Søren Pape Poulsen, described Yasar’s death on Twitter on Tuesday as “sad and infinitely meaningless”.

“I met Nedim once. I met a man who with all his heart wanted to create a new life and make a difference for others,” he wrote. My thoughts and compassion go to his friends and family.”

Local radio station Radio24syv, where Yasar had a show, tweeted an image of its building with the Danish flag at half mast. “Farewell Nedim Yasar, and thanks for everything,” the station wrote.

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