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Monday 21 January 2019

Gunman opens fire on foreigners in Italian town

Authorities had warned citizens to stay inside while the shooter remained at large.

Paramedics attend a wounded man after a shooting in Macerata, Italy (Guido Picchio/ANSA/AP)
Paramedics attend a wounded man after a shooting in Macerata, Italy (Guido Picchio/ANSA/AP)

By Colleen Barry, Associated Press

A lone gunman has opened fire on foreigners in drive-by shootings in a central Italian city, wounding an undisclosed number of people before being arrested, police said.

The suspect’s motive was not immediately clear, but the city of Macerata is still reeling from the gruesome killing of a young Italian woman this week, allegedly at the hands of a Nigerian immigrant.

Police said all those wounded were foreigners and they later confirmed the arrest of the unidentified suspect about two hours after the shooting erupted in the city of Macerata.

Video posted by the newspaper il Resto di Carlino showed what appeared to be a body on the ground on a shopping street.

The shooting spree came days after the murder of 18-year-old Pamela Mastropietro and amid a heated electoral campaign in Italy where anti-foreigner sentiment has become a key theme.

Police at the scene in Macerata, Italy

The head of the anti-migrant Northern League, Matteo Salvini, has capitalised on the killing in campaign appearances, and is pledging to deport 150,000 migrants in his first year in office if his party wins control of parliament and he is named premier.

The teen’s remains were found on Wednesday in two suitcases, two days after she walked away from a drug rehab community.

Police have not said how many people were wounded in Saturday’s shootings. The news agency ANSA said two of the injured were black, and that witnesses reported that the car was seen in the area where the woman’s body was found and also near where the suspect lived.

Police had warned people to stay inside while the shootings were ongoing. Authorities ordered public transport halted and that students be kept inside schools, which are open on Saturdays.

Italians vote in the general election on March 4.

Press Association

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