Italian gunman targets immigrants in drive-by shootings

Italian gunman targets immigrants in drive-by shootings

Italian gunman targets immigrants in drive-by shootings

An Italian man, who reportedly ran unsuccessfully as an anti-immigrant candidate in a local election previous year, wounded several foreigners in the central city of Macerata during a drive-by shooting on Saturday, according to police.

Appearing with a flag tied around his neck, he got out of his black Alfa Romeo auto and climbed the steps to the Monument to the Fall and shouted "Italy to the Italians" as he made a Roman salute, Resto del Carlino reported.

Luca Traini, 28, suspected by the Police of opening fire on African migrants, is seen in Macerata, Italy, February 3, 2018.

The ruling centre-left Democratic Party said Traini had stood as a candidate for the rightist Northern League (PD) at local elections a year ago and accused him of also firing shoots at one of their offices in Macerata before he was arrested. Five men and one woman, all black, were wounded.

Shots had been fired in the Via Spalato and Via dei Velini parts of town, two key areas in an investigation into the murder of an 18-year-old girl whose body was found dismembered and hidden in two suitcases last Wednesday.

State television Rai said the suspect in the shooting was a white Italian man from Macerata. "The closeness of the two events makes you imagine there could be a connection".

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

It only came to an end once the black Alfa Romeo was blocked, at which point the driver got out donning the Italian flag, made a fascist salute and submitted himself to police without resisting arrest, reports the Ansa news agency. The chief suspect in that killing is a Nigerian. The number of victims hasn't been confirmed.

Police did not announce how many wounded in the community at this time, that has a population of 43,000. Police said the attack appeared to be racially motivated.

Italian news reports said that the auto contained two people. Six foreigners were injured in the shooting, one critically.

As the violent attack unfolded in Macerata in Italy's central Marche region, police told residents to stay inside and ordered a halt to public transport to limit the casualties.

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