Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Six wounded in drive-by shooting spree in Italy, police say

A series of drive-by shootings in Macerata left five men and one woman wounded | Carotti Nest  EPA A series of drive-by shootings in Macerata left five men and one woman wounded | Carotti Nest EPA
Lillian Steele | 05 February, 2018, 06:20

The man opened fire in a series of drive-by shootings from a auto in the city of Macerata wounding some seven people including one woman, according to local media.

A lone Italian gunman shot and wounded six African immigrants Saturday in a two-hour drive-by shooting spree, authorities said, terrorizing a small city in central Italy where a Nigerian man was arrested days earlier in a teenager's gruesome killing.

Italy's interior minister says the suspected gunman was immersed in "racial hatred" and had an extreme-right background with both neo-Nazi and neo-Fascist ties.

According to the Il Resto del Carlino newspaper, the man - a 28-year-old local with links to the populist Northern League - fired his first shots around the Via dei Velini area and then proceeded to drive his black Alfa Romeo 147 vehicle around the city centre, targeting immigrants.

"Gunshots fired in Macerata".

A witness told Reuters that the man drove around the city randomly picking out Black men and women on the streets.

Italian media speculate that this incident may have a racist motivation and be related to case of an 18-year-old girl, Pamela Mastropiero, who was killed and dismembereded last week.

Five men and one woman were among those shot, Mayor Romano Carancini told Sky TG24, all of whom were black "foreign nationals". "The closeness of the two events makes you imagine there could be a connection", Carancini said.

Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni said Italy would be "particularly severe against whoever thinks of nourishing this spiral of violence".

The suspect had an Italian flag wrapped around his neck when he was detained. There are wounded. Police operation in progress. Police said the key suspect is a Nigerian immigrant.

Several racist comments calling for revenge attacks were posted on the Facebook page of the victim's mother in the run up to Saturday's shootings, Ansa reports.

He didn't resist arrest and admitted he was responsible, police said. Six foreigners were injured in the shooting, one critically.

Local newspaper Corriere della Sera said schools were put into lockdown and residents warned to stay inside after shots were fired in the city center from a dark-colored auto.

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