Shots as Italy PM Takes Oath of Office

By Alex Johnston, Epoch Times
April 29, 2013 2:19 pm Last Updated: April 29, 2013 2:21 pm

Two police officers were shot on Sunday outside the Italian prime minister’s office, as the country’s newest prime minister was being sworn in, officials said.

The alleged gunman, who was described as unemployed, shot at police six times before he was apprehended, a police officer told CNN. Some reports said he was suicidal.

The officers did not suffer life-threatening wounds. An eyewitness told the network he saw authorities tackle the man after the shots were fired.

The shooting took place as Enrico Letta was being sworn in as Italy’s new prime minister.

The gunman told investigators that he was planning on shooting politicians but found none within his sights, according to Reuters. He then shot at police, hitting one in the spinal cord, leaving the officer in serious condition.

The man was from the poor region of Calabria, located in the country’s south.

“He is a man with a lot of problems. He lost his job, he lost everything and had to return to his family. He was desperate. He wanted to shoot the politicians but since he could not reach them he shot at the police, ” said Pierfilippo Laviani, a prosecutor who questioned the gunman, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The paper also reported that a pregnant woman who was passing through the area was also injured in the incident.

“Our politicians have to start providing solutions to the social crisis and to peoples’ needs because the crisis transforms victims into killers like the man who shot today,” lower house speaker Laura Boldrini said, according to Reuters.