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Gun deaths


Funerals held for factory shooting victims


Four died and six were injured in the incident (Keystone)

Four died and six were injured in the incident

(Keystone)

Funerals have taken place for the three victims of the multiple shooting in February at a timber processing plant in the village of Menznau outside Lucerne. The victims were buried in their respective towns.

Around 2,000 people attended the funeral of one victim, a 26-year-old champion in traditional Swiss wrestling. Those present included the head of the Lucerne cantonal government.


The other victims, a woman aged 43 and a man aged 45, were also buried on Saturday.

Another six people had been injured in the incident. The gunman, a 42-year-old Swiss who had been with the Kronospan company for more than 15 years, was among the dead.

Investigating authorities described the shooting as taking place over two to three minutes, with the dead and injured found on the factory floor, in a corridor and the site canteen. 

How the gun came into the gunman’s possession, and whether he killed himself with it after firing at selected coworkers, is under investigation. He was already dead when police arrived on the scene at the Kronospan plant on February 28.

The suspect had a criminal record and was sentenced for robbery in 1998, according to the justice authorities. He was from an immigrant background and the father of three children.
   
At the time, Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said the incident showed how much suffering can be caused with weapons, but also that the legislation has to be continuously improved.

Gun ownership is widespread in Switzerland, the result of liberal regulation – a 2011 initiative to tighten controls failed – and a long-standing tradition for men to keep their military rifles at home after completing compulsory military service.
 
An estimated 2.3 million firearms are owned by the country’s eight million people.
 
There have been several high-profile incidents over the years, including the killing of 14 people at a parliamentary session in canton Zug, in 2001. In January this year, a 33-year-old man killed three women and wounded two men in a Swiss mountain village.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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