'Vendetta' shooting in Naples leaves girl (3) critically ill
A three-year-old girl is in a critical condition after being caught in the crossfire of a shooting in Naples, in an incident that has provoked outrage in the Italian city.
The little girl, called Noemi, was accidentally shot in the chest when an unidentified man fired six bullets into his intended target, a 32-year-old man with a criminal record who was sitting at a bar. The girl's grandmother was also wounded.
It was initially thought that the shooting was a feud between members of the local Camorra mafia, one of the oldest and largest criminal organisations in Italy, but police now believe it may have been a personal vendetta, a local newspaper reported yesterday.
Salvatore Nurcaro (31), the man who was shot, was badly wounded and is in a critical condition in hospital. The shooting, which happened on Friday, prompted a protest on Sunday, with crowds praying for the recovery of the child.
Hundreds of people gathered in a piazza close to where the shooting occurred, with banners reading "Noemi, don't give up, Naples is fighting for you" and "Let's disarm Naples".
The bullet that hit the child passed through one of her lungs and lodged in her ribs, doctors said.
It was the kind of wound normally seen in a "war zone", said Giovanni Gaglione, Noemi's paediatric surgeon.
Italian media published security camera footage that showed the gunman step over the wounded child twice as he carried out the shooting. A shocked waiter then picked her up.
Police are hunting for the gunman, who was dressed in black and wearing a motorcycle helmet.