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Italian man arrested after African migrants injured in drive-by shootings 05-02-2018

Italian website Repubblica have named the arrested man as 28-year-old Luca Traini

A lone gunman went on the rampage in a town in Italy on Saturday, shooting black migrants in apparent revenge for the brutal murder of a teenage white girl.

The shaven-headed man, who had an Italian flag draped around his shoulders, drove around the central Italian town of Macerata in a dark Alfa Romeo, opening fire with a pistol.

He wounded at least four and as many as six people, all said to be African migrants. One of them was left in a critical condition.

The incident will likely jolt campaigning for a March 4 national election, with a centre-right alliance that leads in the polls promoting a fiercely anti-migrant programme.

The gunman was named by the Italian press as Luca Traini, 28. A local man, he reportedly ran last year as a candidate in municipal elections for the anti-immigrant Northern League, which has since changed its name to the League to broaden its appeal.

The shooter eventually got out of his car and ran towards the town’s war memorial, reportedly shouting ‘Viva l’Italia’ or long live Italy.

He made a fascist salute, according to local reports. He was arrested by police in the central square, Piazza della Vittoria.

Italian media drew a link between the shootings and the murder this week in Macerata of an 18-year-old girl. Pamela Mastropietro was chopped up and her body parts stuffed into two suitcases which were found dumped on Wednesday.

A Nigerian man, Innocent Oseghale, was arrested on suspicion of her murder. The gunman’s rampage on Saturday included the area where the dismembered corpse was found.

The shootings sparked alarm in Macerata, about 125 miles east of Rome, with the local mayor telling people to stay indoors. “Shots fired in Macerata. People injured. Police operation under way. Stay out of the way and avoid open places,” the police said on Twitter.

Right-wing politicians last week leapt on the death of the Miss Mastropietro to promote their anti-migrant message.

A preliminary postmortem on the teenager could not immediately identify her cause of death. The Nigerian suspect, who was denied asylum last year but has remained in Italy, has refused to talk to police.

“What was this worm still doing in Italy?” Matteo Salvini, head of the far-right League, wrote on Facebook, accusing the centre-left government of responsibility for Mastropietro’s death for allowing migrants to stay in the country.

“The left has blood on its hands,” he wrote.

More than 600,000 mainly African migrants have reached Italy by boat over the past four years. The centre-right bloc, which includes the League, says the vast majority have no right to asylum and has promised mass expulsions if it takes power.