A gunman caused panic in the central Italian city of Macerata this morning, targeting at least five African migrants in an attack that might be racially or drug motivated or a revenge attack.
Unconfirmed report said one of the Africans hit by the gunman died. The shooter identified as Luca Traini was arrested at 12.45pm, at a monument in the city, after he gave the Nazi salute.
The shooting happened just days after the body of an 18-year-old Italian woman Pamela Mastropietro, was discovered dismembered and hidden in two suitcases.
A Nigerian migrant, identified as Innocent Oseghale, 29, with a history of drug dealing, was arrested in connection with the death. According to Picchionews, published in Macerata, the Nigerian has denied the charge.
“I did not kill her,” he was reported to have told the police repeatedly.
Oseghale is said to be an asylum seeker with a residence permit, which expired last year. He is married and has a daughter. He however stays alone in an apartment, not rented in his name. Police, after searching his flat found 70 grams of hashish, but not heroin.
The shooting today put the city in a virtual lockdown as the Mayor ordered people to stay indoors.
The gunman drove around the town, as a passenger in a black Alfa Romeo.
Police confirmed that “gunshots have been fired and there are wounded”. No fewer than five Africans were hit, with unconfirmed reports saying one person died.
The shootings began at 11am local time (10am) when the man shot at two young African migrants, according to local media. Another migrant and an African woman were reportedly shot shortly afterwards.
“Stay at home until further notice. There is an armed man in a car who is shooting in the city,” Mayor Romano Carancini said in a statement posted on local Facebook sites.