Police shot by unemployed man who had 'lost everything' as Italy's new government is sworn in
Unemployed gunman injures two officers and a pregnant woman outside PM’s office
An unemployed man who had ‘“lost everything” today opened fired outside the Italian Prime Minister’s office in central Rome, injuring two police officers and a pregnant woman.
Police arrested the attacker as he tried to flee the scene outside Palazzo Chigi at the same time as the Prime Minister, Enrico Letta, and his new cabinet were being sworn in half a mile away at the President’s palace.
One of the injured Carabinieri officers was shot in the leg and the passer-by suffered a slight injury from a ricochet. The second police officer, a 50-year-old brigadier who was shot in the neck, was said to be in a serious but not life-threatening condition tonight.
Rome’s public prosecutor, Pierfilippo Laviani, said after interviewing the man that he had wanted to “shoot politicians”.
“He has confessed everything. He doesn’t seem like a mentally unbalanced person. He was a man full of problems. He lost his job, he’d lost everything,” he said.
The new deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Angelino Alfano, said after the swearing-in ceremony that the shooting was a “tragic and criminal act”, and an “isolated incident by unemployed man”. Mr Alfano said the man “showed immediately afterwards the intention to kill himself but it appears he was unable to do so because the gun was empty”.
The gunman was named as Luigi Preiti, a 49-year-old originally from the southern Italian town of Rosarno. State TV reported one police officer at the scene as saying the arrested man had shouted: “I’m sorry. Shoot me now.”
The gunman’s brother, Arcangelo Preiti, was quoted in the Italian press denying suggestions the attacker had mental health problems: “No, it’s not true. My brother doesn’t have any problems. Until this morning he was lucid and resourceful.”
The arrested man’s employment status will have significant resonance for Rome’s new government. Joblessness is soaring in recession-mired Italy, and a series of suicides linked to the economic crisis have hit the headlines in recent months. Creating economic growth – and jobs – will be a key priority for the incoming government.
This morning, at the President of State’s office, the outgoing caretaker premier Mario Monti handed over the symbolic bell to the incoming Prime Minister Enrico Letta, as Italy passed from one non-elected administration to another.
Mr Letta, 46, a moderate from the centre-left Democratic Party, was asked to form a government by President Giorgio Napolitano after two months of parliamentary deadlock. He surprised many this weekend by naming a young cabinet with seven women and the first black minister in Italy’s history, the Congolese-born medic Cécile Kyenge, who is the new Minister for Integration.
Later this week his government is likely to face the confidence vote it needs to pass to begin parliamentary business. General support from the centre-left and centre-right blocs should ensure it wins this vote.
But, despite murmurs of approval at the selection of a young and politically moderate team, Mr Letta must now spell out how his unlikely coalition will work together to reform the country’s corrupt and sclerotic institutions and drag Italy out of its downward economic spiral.
He has already indicated he also wants to move away from the austerity imposed by his predecessor Mr Monti, although it’s not clear how much the cabinet will agree on economic policy.
The conservative ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, who will wield major influence on the new government from behind the scenes, has frequently criticised the austerity measures demanded by Europe, indicating that a change in economic policy is likely. The anti-establishment Five Star Movement led by Beppe Grillo has effectively been sidelined in parliament, at least for now, after insisting it would not work with the traditional political parties.
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Kate Moss: Previously unpublished nude photo revealed by Mert and Marcus
- 4 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 5 Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Indian woman creates 'Marriage CV' after parents put her on dating site: 'Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair, ever'
Becky Watts: Four appear in court charged with hiding body parts after teenager's death
Isis 'bulldozes' Nimrud: UNESCO condemns destruction of ancient Assyrian site as a 'war crime'
Professor Brian Cox brands astrology-believing Tory MP David Tredinnick an 'outlier on the spectrum of reason'
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...
£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...