Gunman used brother’s pistol in factory shooting

Three roses in memory of the victims killed in Menznau, Lucerne Keystone

The gunman responsible for the factory shooting near Lucerne last month was not the legal owner of the pistol he used to kill three people and injure six more. Medical examiners say the man died of a gunshot wound to the head.

This content was published on March 21, 2013 - 22:14 and agencies

In a media conference on Thursday, the local authorities shared more details of the incident, which took place at the Kronospan timber processing plant in Menznau on February 27. The motive and the exact details of the gunman’s death are unclear. Two of the victims are still in hospital.

Police say the 42-year-old got the Sphinx AT 380 pistol from his brother in canton Obwalden some years ago. The brother had purchased it legally in 2003; he has since been charged for passing on the gun illegally.

In addition, the gunman was armed with a loaded revolver for which he had no permit to carry, though he had bought it legally in 2004. He was also carrying ammunition for both weapons.

Shot in the head

The gunman came to work on his day off and began shooting at people in the factory, in a hallway as well as in the non-smokers’ canteen. One man attacked him with a chair and got shot in the jaw; there was a scuffle between the two men and they fell to the floor – after which point the gunman stopped moving.

According to witnesses, he was still holding the pistol until somebody grabbed it and threw it out the window. It is unclear whether the gunman intentionally killed himself or not.

He was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs; it could be that he was mentally ill. Witnesses say that he had been overheard talking to himself and having laughing fits.

Gunman’s background

The gunman had worked at Kronospan for more than 15 years. His employers say that he was not about to lose his job. The people he shot were coworkers and not managers.

The man came to Switzerland from Kosovo as a 20-year-old asylum seeker and received Swiss citizenship in 2001. Three years prior he had been sentenced for robbery, attempted theft and vandalism. He leaves a wife and three children.

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