A 43-year-old Italian man has been charged with multiple counts of attempted murder after he shot at North African migrants he claimed were being rude to him.
The incident took place on Saturday evening in the city of Reggio Emilia and saw 43-year-old Gaetano Lombardi coming across five young North African migrants who called the Italian “old” and told him to move out of their way.
The incident rapidly escalated with both sides hurling insults at each other until Lombardi punched one of the young men before the group ran off, newspaper Il Giornale reports.
Instead of letting the migrants flee, Lombardi drew a Beretta model 950 pistol and fired nine shots at the migrants.
Three of the migrants, two of them minors, were hospitalised after suffering gunshot injuries, including 20-year-old Moroccan national Salah Eddine who ended up in intensive care.
Quarantined Migrants Grow Angry, Set Fires in Italian Hotel https://t.co/88oueNmi6N
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Lombardi handed himself over to police, stating that the migrants “were very rude” and told investigators: “I went too far, something snapped in me.” Lombardi has been charged with multiple counts of attempted homicide as well as unlawful possession of a firearm.
When police later raided his home, the pistol was found concealed under a skirting board and a second magazine was found hidden in the washing machine.
The case comes just over two years since Italian Luca Traini was sentenced to 12 years in prison for attempting to murder random migrants in the town of Macerata.
Traini, who had far-right sympathies, committed his shootings in response to the death of Italian teen Pamela Mastropietro who had been murdered and dismembered by a Nigerian migrant drug dealer.
“I wanted to hit the dealers, like those who sold drugs to Pamela,” Traini told investigators and said: “It’s not my fault if in Macerata all the dealers are black.”