A white supremacist went on a two-hour shooting rampage in Macerata, Italy, and shot and wounded five men and one woman. His victims are migrants from Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia and Mali, according to RAI state television.
All six people are now in hospital, one in serious condition.
The suspect, Luca Traini, 28, who is from the surrounding Le Marche region, targeted the immigrants from his car. After the massacre, he allegedly got out of a car with a tricolor Italian flag draped on his shoulders, made a fascist salute and cried “viva Italia” and “Italy for Italians,” according to the Italian news media. Photographs released by the police show a neo-Nazi tattoo edged on his forehead.
Traini did not resist arrest after police captured him near a war memorial trying to escape. The authorities also found a gun in his car. The police also said the suspect was “lucid and determined, aware of what he had done” — yet showed zero remorse for trying to kill other human beings.
What’s shocking is the fact the Italian man ran unsuccessfully in the local election for the anti-immigrant Northern League political party last year. He reportedly also had ties with neo-Nazi parties Forza Nuova and CasaPound.
Colonel Michele Roberti, the Carabineri commander, said Traini seemed remorseless after the rampage and “it’s likely that he carried out this crazy gesture as a sort of retaliation, a sort of vendetta” for the ghastly murder of a white Italian woman, Pamela Mastropietro, a few days earlier.
Traini carried out his shooting in the Via Spalato and Via dei Velini parts of the city, the two primary areas where the 18-year-old girl’s dismembered remains were found in two suitcases, last Wednesday.
A 29-year-old Nigerian man has been arrested on suspicion of the woman’s killing.
After the horrific incident, many racist people called for revenge attack on the Facebook page of the victim’s mother — despite the fact the perpetrator is already in police custody. That in itself is a senseless act as looking to gun down innocent people who have no connection to the incident just reinforces stereotypes and promotes hatred of the community as a whole. The actions of a single evil Nigerian man do not represent the entire black community just as the actions of a single gun-toting, tattoo-wearing white supremacist do not represent the white community.
Right-wing politicians have been capitalizing on Mastropietro’s murder to promote their xenophobic agenda as part of their general election campaign.
Matteo Slavini, the head of the Northern League party, is vowing to deport 150,000 immigrants in his first year of office if his party wins majority parliament seats in the upcoming March 4 election.
Silvio Berlusconi, former prime minister and a TV tycoon, has pledged to deport 600,000 undocumented immigrants from the country if his right-wing coalition is successful in the elections.
The former prime minister lashed out against immigration saying it was a “social bomb ready to explode in Italy.” He even blamed the shooting by Traini on the immigrants, saying they posed a security threat.
“Immigration has become an urgent question, because after years with a left-wing government, there are 600,000 migrants who don’t have the right to stay,” said Berlusconi. “We consider it to be an absolute priority to regain control over the situation.”
However, none of these politicians see fit to condemn the actions of a suspected white terrorist born and bred in their own country, who had taken up a gun against the very same immigrants the right-wing consider a security threat. Even if they do succeed in banning all immigrants from Italy, what will protect the public from the terror threat that comes from inside the country? What’s horrifying is the fact that a person like Traini was able to run in the local elections, albeit unsuccessfully.
Italy is the one of the favored landing hubs for hundreds of thousands of migrants in recent years, who made increasingly perilous journey across the Mediterranean on rickety boats to enter Europe. In 2017, the huge influx of immigrants tapered off sharply, thanks to a controversial agreement between Libya and European Union. Around 119,000 people came to Italy by boat in 2017, which is a drop of 37 percent from 2016.
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