*In an unfathomable chain of events, a man on trial for fraudulent bankruptcy unleashed his rage and took the lives of three victims as a result in a rampage through a Milan courthouse; casting a harsh spotlight on public security measures that Italy tightened earlier this year according to Reuters.
Police said Claudio Giardiello shot judge, Fernando Ciampi, in his office, and had already opened fire earlier in the courtroom, killing a lawyer and his co-defendant in a bankruptcy fraud trial. A fourth person was wounded.
Giardiello is said to have fired as many as 13 shots inside the Palace of Justice in central Milan before fleeing, according to police. But cops caught up with him and he was put under arrest in Vimercate, a town north of Italy’s financial center, as mentioned in a tweet posted on a twitter feed by Interior Minister Angelino Alfano.
Public security had been tightened across Italy following January’s Charlie Hebdo newspaper attacks in Paris, and it was not immediately clear how the assailant was able to carry a gun into the court buildings.
According to Milan chief prosecutor, Edmondo Bruti Liberati, who talked to reporters, the attacker likely carried a false identification badge and entered through a side entrance reserved for lawyers and court employees, where there is no metal detector.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said the priority now is to ensure nothing similar ever happens again.
“We need to find out exactly what happened and above all how it was possible to take a firearm into a courthouse,” he said at a news conference in Rome.
“This is not the first time this has happened but obviously it must be the last. The government has given a powerful mandate to expose the systemic failings which evidently happened.”
The court buildings are just half a mile (1 km) from Milan’s cathedral, its biggest tourist attraction. Police vans and an ambulance were parked outside the cordoned-off buildings and the street was closed to traffic.
This incident no doubt puts an eye of scrutiny on the upcoming Milan Expo opening on May 1. For six months, the city will host a global showcase of culture and technology, for the first time in more than a hundred years.
Authorities said initial reports that a fourth person had been found dead in the court buildings were incorrect.
“I heard a series of shots, I threw myself in the first office I could find and I thought I was going to have a panic attack,” Massimilano Monti, who works for a legal office inside the court, said.
Watch a video report of this horrifying incident directly below.