Man kills two, wounds three in Florence shooting spree

Updated: 2011-12-15 08:05

(China Daily)

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Man kills two, wounds three in Florence shooting spree

ROME - Florence was in mourning on Wednesday after an Italian far-right author shot dead two Senegalese men and wounded three others before killing himself in a daylight shooting spree that prompted outpourings of grief.

Witnesses said they saw the gunman calmly getting out of a car at a street market on Piazza Dalmazia, north of the city center, and firing three shots that instantly killed the two Senegalese vendors and seriously wounded a third.

The white assailant, identified by authorities as 50-year-old Gianluca Casseri, then moved on to the San Lorenzo market in the center - a popular destination for tourists - where he wounded two more vendors.

The writer of fantasy novels then turned the gun - a Magnum Smith & Wesson revolver according to news reports - on himself after he was surrounded by police.

Around 200 Senegalese marched through the city in an angry protest after the shootings, shouting "Shame!" and "Racists!"

Hundreds of immigrants were later seen praying on their knees in tears in front of Florence's famous cathedral.

"The heart of Florence is crying today," Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi said in a Twitter message, declaring the city would hold a day of mourning later and would pay to repatriate the bodies to Senegal.

"I think the pain for the lives that have been cut short is not only for the Senegalese community but for all the citizens of our city," Renzi said.

International Cooperation and Integration Minister Andrea Riccardi and a Senegalese imam were scheduled to attend a ceremony at Florence city hall.

"The Senegalese are good people, people who never get into trouble, who work every day," one Senegalese man told news channel SkyTG24.

Another man said: "These lads who were killed were only earning money for their wives, their fathers, their children."

Roccangelo Tritto, a spokesman for local Carabinieri police, said that the man wounded at Piazza Dalmazia would live but remain paralyzed for life.

The other two men were also in a serious condition - one with a wound to the abdomen and another shot in the chest.

Agence France-Presse