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Switzerland’s worst-ever gun massacre

On September 27, 2001, a gunman carried out a deadly attack on the Zug regional parliament, shooting dead 14 politicians before killing himself. The traumatic incident led to fundamental changes in Switzerland.

This 2021 docu-fiction by Swiss public television, SRF, examines the consequences of Switzerland’s worst-ever massacre. It features interviews with those most affected by the mass shooting: from politicians who narrowly avoided death to the relatives of victims, as well as police officers and a local reporter who were present, and a psychologist and pastor who dealt with the aftermath.

On September 27, 2001, Friedrich Leibacher, 57, stormed into the chamber of the Zug cantonal parliament. He was wearing a home-made police vest and carrying a number of weapons, including an assault rifle, a pistol and a revolver.

In the space of two-and-a-half minutes he fired over 90 shots and set off a home-made bomb. At the end of the attack he killed himself. Three members of the cantonal government and 11 members of parliament were killed. Another 18 people were injured, some of them seriously.

Leibacher had a long history of legal disputes with the authorities and felt he had been treated unfairly.

Since the dramatic killings, fundamental changes have been made to improve security. Cantonal and federal parliaments in Switzerland are now protected by the police. The attack also led to a tightening of Switzerland’s gun laws.

(Subtitles translated from German to English by SWISS TXT).

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR