Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Swiss factory worker shoots staff

Mauro Capozzo, CEO of Swiss wood panel firma Kronospan, speaks during a press conference in Menznau (AP)
Police outside the Swiss company where the shooting took place (AP)

A worker has shot dead two colleagues then himself in the canteen of a Swiss factory.

Another seven people were wounded, six of them seriously, in the shooting at the Kronospan wood processing plant in the small town of Menznau, Lucerne.

Police chief Daniel Bussmann said the 42-year-old gunman arrived at the premises shortly after 9am on Wednesday, drew a pistol and started firing at people.

Kronospan chief executive Mauro Capozzo said that the man had been "with us for more than 10 years - a quiet man, no other incidents involving him are known."

There was no word on a possible motive; Mr Capozzo said the company had not made any redundancies from its 450-strong workforce recently.

Gun ownership is widespread in Switzerland, thanks to liberal regulation - a 2011 referendum to tighten controls failed - and a long-standing tradition for men to keep their military rifles after completing compulsory military service.

An estimated 2.3 million firearms are owned by the country's eight million people.

But gun crime is relatively rare, with just 24 gun killings in 2009, which works out to a rate of about 0.3 per 100,000 inhabitants. The US rate that year was about 11 times higher.

There have been several high-profile incidents over the years, including the killing of 14 people at a city council meeting in Zug, not far from Lucerne, in 2001.

Last month a 33-year-old man killed three women and wounded two men in a southern Swiss village.

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