Entries in shooting (36)


Two Policemen Shot Outside Italian Prime Minister’s Office

iStockphoto(ROME) -- A gunman in Rome wounded two policemen in a crowded square near the prime minister’s office on Sunday.

Police arrested the suspect, identified as Luigi Preiti according to BBC News.

A Rome prosecutor says the gunman intended to target politicians, but could not find any and opened fire on police. instead.

He was apparently motivated by economic woes and frustration with the Italian government. Two months of political impasse and a deepening economic crisis have left many Italians fed up with what they see as out-of-touch politicians.

The gunman had recently lost his job and was desperate. He confessed everything to the police when he was arrested, and according to the prosecutor he did not appear mentally imbalanced.

BBC News reports that one of the injured policemen is in serious condition with a wound to his neck, while the other has a serious wound to the leg. They also report that a pregnant woman was slightly hurt.

While this was happening, Prime Minister Enrico Letta, and the new government were being sworn in a few blocks away. The swearing-in followed two months of political deadlock.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Motionless Girl Survives French Alps Slaughter

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images(PARIS) -- She stayed so still, police thought she was dead.

For eight hours, a 4-year-old girl lay under the body of a female believed to be her mother, beside another unidentified female with a Swedish passport, in the back-seat of a BMW in a car park near the town of Chevaline in the French Alps.

In the front seat of the vehicle, a man believed to be her father was slumped over, shot dead. A few feet away from the vehicle, an 8-year-old thought to be her sister was shot in the head three times and badly beaten, but still alive.

"We usually see this kind of scene in a movie rather than real life," Annecy prosecutor Eric Maillaud said, adding that the reason for the "dramatic nature" of the killings was unknown, but that the killer did not shoot haphazardly, but "targeted his victims."

The Annecy Tribunal identified the owner and apparent driver of the car as Iraqi-born Saad al Hilli, reportedly a resident of the London-suburb of Surrey and the secretary of a Wiltshire-based aerial photography company, AMS 1087. The Surrey police are working with French authorities to assist the investigation of the incident that left four people dead and one in critical condition.

The 4-year-old suffered no physical injuries. Police have no motive, suspects or weapon, although they believe the shooter used an automatic pistol, which is banned in France.

"We are talking about an extreme savagery act," Maillaud said, speaking at a news conference in Annecy this afternoon.

French police have been unable to confirm the identities of the victims in the car, but the passport details of the car owner matched those of a man registered as missing at a nearby holiday campsite. The BMW passengers are believed to be a family that was coming to the end of their holiday, having arrived in France at the end of August.

"This is not your typical incident," a spokesman for the British Foreign Office told ABC News. "With multiple killings, gathering evidence is much more difficult."

He did not comment on the victims' identity.

Another victim, a cyclist identified by French media as Sylvain Mollier, a father-of-three from Ugine en Savoie, also suffered gunshot wounds and was found dead close to the car.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague tweeted, "Terrible, tragic shooting in France. British Embassy team on the scene. Our thoughts are with the young girls who survived and the family."

The British deputy ambassador went to the scene of the killings, having first visited the injured girl in the hospital. The ambassador was also on his way from Paris.

The main witness was a British cyclist and ex-RAF officer who discovered the scene near Lake Annecy Wednesday evening. He had been passed by another cyclist on the climb that leads to the parking lot where the shooting took place.

Police said that he found the BMW with the engine still running, and saw the older girl walking near the car, about to faint. He then discovered the other cyclist, who had passed him earlier, dead on the road.

After alerting firefighters at about 5 p.m., the witness broke the driver's window and saw the bodies inside, one of which covered the little girl. Authorities removed her at around midnight, and she is being treated by psychiatrists.

The older child is in critical condition in the hospital in Grenoble with a fractured skull.

Chevaline Mayor Didier Berthollet told the BBC that most local people had already been questioned by police, describing the situation as "surreal."

"Things are very precious," Barthollet said, adding that the deaths reminded him of a similar death of another family seven years ago not too far away.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Shooting at Rally for New Quebec Premier Leaves One Dead

Hemera/Thinkstock(MONTREAL) -- Violence marred an election victory party for Quebec’s newly elected premier late Tuesday night, after a masked gunman opened fire at a campaign rally in Montreal.

TV cameras captured a chaotic scene as a security team abruptly surrounded Pauline Marois as she delivered a victory speech before a crowd of supporters, and escorted her off stage.  A few minutes later, Marois returned and asked the crowd to evacuate the building.

Montreal police arrested a 50-year-old man at the scene, wearing what appeared to be a long, blue housecoat and a makeshift balaclava.  Police told ABC News that the suspect tried to set a small fire near the campaign’s headquarters before he tried to flee.

Police confirmed at least one person in critical condition, and one death resulting from the shooting.  Details were not released regarding the shooting victims’ identities or the suspected shooter’s possible motive.

Political tension has been on the rise in Canada as the independence-minded Parti Quebecois has grown stronger in the largely French-speaking province.  Marois, who is also the party’s leader, will be Quebec’s first female premier.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mexican Federal Police Open Fire on Two U.S. Government Workers

Thinkstock/Comstock(MEXICO CITY) -- Two U.S. government employees were shot Friday an incident involving the Mexican federal police.  The two Americans were riding in an armored U.S. embassy SUV when they came under fire south of Mexico City.

Mexican police have released a statement in Spanish that has been translated into English:

"At 8 a.m. this morning, a U.S. embassy car with people front he U.S. embassy and one Mexican marine went off the road.  A Mexican federal police car pulled beside them and showed they were armed. This alarmed [those riding in the] U.S. embassy vehicle and they drove off, causing the Mexican federal police to open fire because they thought they acted suspiciously," the statement said.

The U.S. embassy vehicle was reportedly riddled with more than 30 bullets.

The two wounded U.S. embassy personnel were taken to a hospital in Cuernavaca and are in stable condition, The Washington Post reports.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Deadly Police Shootout at South African Platinum Mine

AFP/GettyImages(JOHANNESBURG) -- News cameras were rolling Thursday as South African police opened fire on a crowd of hundreds of striking workers at one of the world’s largest platinum mines, leaving at least 30 protesting miners dead and dozens more injured.

The workers were armed with machetes and chanting war songs when police moved to disperse the crowd at the Lonmin PLC mine about 40 miles northwest of Johannesburg.  The South African Press Association reports police initially used tear gas and a water cannon to try to break up the protest when some workers fired guns in retaliation.

A 3-minute shootout reportedly ensued as hundreds of people ran for safety, but the head of one of the unions representing the striking miners told ABC News they were only carrying their traditional weapons and denied they had any guns.

“The responsibility for the massacre today should rest squarely on the hands of Lonmin management,” said Joseph Mathunjwa, president of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.

This is not the first deadly day of unrest at the Lonmin mine where about 3,000 workers walked off the job last Friday to demand higher wages.  The following day, management said those who tried to go to work were attacked by the strikers.  On Sunday, two security guards were killed when the crowd torched their cars, and on Monday mobs at the strike killed two workers and two police officers trying to intervene.

Earlier today, police said negotiations to get the armed strikers to leave so operations at the mine could resume broke down.

Some of the striking miners said they were being paid about 4,000 rand a month (about $500) and wanted a raise to 12,500 rand.  Platinum mine owners say business is struggling because of a decline in the price of the precious metal and rising labor costs.

Twelve percent of the world’s platinum comes from the Lonmin mine where operations are stalled because of the violent strike.  In January, violence between competing unions forced another large mine run by Impala Platinum to close temporarily, which pushed the price of the precious metal up 15 percent.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Two Killed, 19 Wounded at Toronto Block Party Shooting

Thinkstock/Getty Images(TORONTO) -- The city of Toronto is stunned on Tuesday by what its police chief described as “the worst incidence of gun violence in my memory anywhere in North America.”

Twenty-one people were shot late Monday night during a block party in Toronto’s east end, leaving two people dead and 19 wounded.

While details were still emerging, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said that a person of interest, who was also wounded, is in custody and that more than one gun was used during the incident.

Gun violence has been on the rise in Toronto with 32 percent more shootings in 2012 than this time last year.  However, no one was prepared for a shooting spree that occurred Monday night.

Blair told reporters that not only were Toronto residents shocked but “it will be shocking to all of Canada because of the number of the people injured.  The level of violence is something we have never experienced.”

A teenage girl and young adult male were confirmed dead.  An infant was among those wounded but the baby’s wounds were considered non-life threatening.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Norway Shooter Anders Breivik Gets the Stage at Trial’s Close

ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images(OSLO, Norway) -- After closing arguments today, a Norwegian court will determine the fate of Anders Breivik, the right wing extremist who confessed to killing 77 people -- most of them teenagers -- in a rampage in Norway last July. But the shooter may have already won part of what he wanted all along: a world stage to spread his anti-Muslim message.

At the end of his trial, which began in April, Breivik took the stand to say that he was justified in killing dozens of youths at a summer camp for the country's liberal party and that history would exonerate him, according to local and international media reports. Breivik, who has confessed to the killing, said it was "self-defense," a preemptive strike against Muslims and "multi-culturalism" he believed were taking over Europe.

"History shows that you have to commit a small barbarism to prevent a bigger barbarism," the 33-year-old Norwegian said Friday. "The attacks on July 22 were preventive attacks to defend the indigenous Norwegian people... I therefore demand to be acquitted."

In what was described as a rambling statement, Breivik also decried perceived faults in the world, everything from Norwegians with non-Norwegian roots participating in the Eurovision Song Contest to the flippant attitude towards sex featured in the television series Sex in the City. Breivik claimed that fellow right-wing compatriots were behind a recent bomb scare at a Swedish nuclear plant.

Family members of several of Breivik's victims who were present in the court reportedly responded to the diatribe by walking out.

The court is expected to rule on the issue of Breivik's sanity before passing sentence. He will either be sent to prison or a psychiatric facility. Prosecutors have asked that he be ruled insane, but Breivik has argued that he was sane during the shooting and considered being called insane the "ultimate humiliation."

Regardless of the outcome, Breivik appears to have accomplished a key part of his plan to battle mutli-culturalism, as laid out in a 1,500-page manifesto posted online just before the massacre.

The meticulous manifesto describes a 60-year "war" against minorities in Europe waged by a secret group called the new Knights Templar and says that getting arrested is all part of the plan.

"Your arrest will mark the initiation of the propaganda phase," Breivik wrote. "Your trial offers you a stage to the world."

"In light of your newly acquired status as a living martyr for the cause, this newly acquired influential position will allow you to significantly contribute to further consolidation of either a national or pan-European Overseer organization or the establishment of a national prison movement (preferably political)," he says. "Alternatively: Escape from prison and initiate your 'bonus operation.'"

As of this report, no new right-wing pan-European Overseer organization has been identified.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Nine Local Afghan Police Officers Killed by Colleague

REZA SHIRMOHAMMADI/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- A local Afghan police officer turned his gun on his colleagues on Friday, killing nine of them, including his commander, in southeastern Afghanistan, according to a local Afghan official.

The shooting took place in the Yahyakhel district of Paktika province.  The gunman, who was identified only as Asadullah, managed to escape in a truck belonging to the local police.

The motive behind the attack is not yet known.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Norway Shooter Will Call Islamic Extremists as Defense Witnesses

AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The man who has admitted killing 77 people in last summer’s Norwegian massacre insists he’s not crazy, just a right-wing extremist – and his attorney plans to call Islamic extremists to the stand to prove it.

Anders Breivik does not want to use insanity as a defense at his trial, which begins on April 16, according to defense attorney Geir Lippestad. Lippestad told Le Monde that Breivik wants to be found guilty of the bombing and shooting attacks in Oslo and the nearby island of Utoya. “He wants to be found sane and accountable,” said Lippestad.

Breivik, who says he mounted the attacks to protest Islamic immigration to Europe, has written a 1,500 page manifesto outlining his beliefs. He has demanded a medal for his deeds and a rank in the Norwegian armed forces, and has claimed to be part of a larger organization.  Specialists who examined him found him insane, and Lippestad had initially planned to use an insanity defense at trial.

But given his client’s wishes, he will instead portray Breivik as sane, but as an extremist. To bolster his case, he told Le Monde he plans to call Mullah Krekar, an Islamic extremist now resident in Norway, as a witness. Krekar, who once headed Ansar al-Islam, an Islamist group in Kurdish Iraq, has admitted meeting with Osama bin Laden and requesting backing for his group.

Lippestad said he wants to demonstrate that “Islamists also believe that Europe is the setting for a war of religion” and that therefore Breivik’s believe in such a conflict is not delusional.

The attorney said he may also use other Islamists as witnesses, as well as right-wing extremists. He told Le Monde that he plans to call the Norwegian anti-Islamic blogger who goes by the name Fjordman to the stand. Breivik quoted Fjordman, whose real name is Peder Jensen, in his massive manifesto.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Toulouse Shooter's Dad Blames Govt. for Son's Death

Toulouse school shooter Mohamed Merah. (AFP/Getty Images)(PARIS) -- The father of Toulouse school shooter Mohamed Merah has threatened to sue the French government for killing his son in a shootout rather than capturing him alive, and has vowed not to "shut up" despite a scathing reaction from French officials.

In an interview with the television network France 24, Benalel Merah said police could have used "sleeping gas" to take his son "like a baby," and accused the police of acting hastily.

"Why did they kill him?" asked Benalel Merah. "He could have been sentenced to many years in prison or even a life sentence. There is no death penalty in France."

Merah told French media he would "hire the biggest-named lawyers and work for the rest of my life to pay their costs. I will sue France for having killed my son."

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe responded to Merah's threat by saying, "If I were the father of such a monster, I would shut my mouth in shame."

Merah then told Algerian media that he would not "shut up" despite Juppe's comment.

Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old French citizen of Algerian ancestry, was killed last week with a shot to the head after a 32-hour siege by French police. Before he died, he confessed to killing three soldiers, a rabbi and three Jewish schoolchildren in three separate attacks.

On Tuesday, the Paris office of the television news network Al Jazeera said it had received a memory stick in the mail with edited footage of all three attacks, apparently shot by Merah himself, but said it would not air the footage.

Police have arrested Merah's 29-year-old brother Abdelkader and charged him as an accomplice in the attacks. Officials also raised the possibility of a second accomplice, saying they did not believe Merah or his brother could've mailed the attack video -- which was postmarked last Wednesday, the day of the siege -- to Al Jazeera.

Mohamed Merah's body is being shipped to Algeria and will arrive Thursday, according to relatives who spoke to French media.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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