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RT Reports A man has opened fire outside the Italian Prime Minister’s office in Rome, injuring two police officers and a passerby. The gunman was apprehended following the ensuing shootout, and has been accused of attempted homicide.
The exchange of fire happened while the new government was being sworn in, but it is unclear whether the attack was directly linked to the formation of the Cabinet.
One of the two police officers standing guard outside the prime minister’s office was shot in the neck, while the other was shot in the leg. Neither guard received life-threatening injuries. A pregnant woman passing by as the shootout commenced was also slightly injured, although it remains unclear if she was grazed by a bullet or was hurt in the ensuing panic.
An officer told Reuters that the gunman was from the region of Calabria and tried to coerce police into opening fire on him, shouting “shoot me, shoot me!” to other police nearby before being tackled to the ground and taken away.
Newly-appointed deputy prime minister Angelino Alfano described the shootout as a “tragic act of an unemployed man who wanted to commit suicide.”
Others saw a political motive in the act, with deputy Rome prosecutor Pierfilippo Laviani telling reporters after the shooting: “His intention was to strike politicians.”
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