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Four Dead after Shooting at Wood-Processing Company

Mon, 03/04/2013 - 4:38am
DAVID RISING & NEBI QENA, Associated Press

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BERLIN (AP) — A person wounded in a shooting at a wood-processing company in central Switzerland died Thursday, police said, raising the death toll to four including the suspected attacker — a 42-year-old Swiss man originally from Kosovo.

Lucerne police spokesman Urs Wigger said a further six people are still being treated for their injuries, and that he had no immediate information on their conditions.

The assailant entered the Kronospan wood-processing company, where he was a longtime employee, in the small town of Menznau at about 9 a.m. Wednesday and opened fire.

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Wigger said the weapon used has been identified as a Sphinx AT 380 handgun, a compact pistol produced by a Swiss company. It was not a military weapon, and it wasn't clear how the suspected assailant got hold of it or whether he was in possession of it legally.

Among the victims was Swiss athlete Benno Studer, 26, Wigger said. Studer was a successful wrestler in the traditional sport of Schwingen, also known as Swiss wrestling — considered one of the country's national sports.

Wigger said he could not confirm media reports that the shooter killed himself.

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Swiss police did not release the name of the shooter, but in Kosovo authorities said the attacker was born there and that Swiss officials had been in touch with them about the case.

A Kosovo government official close to the contacts with Swiss authorities identified him as Viktor Berisha, an ethnic Albanian. The Kosovo official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release details of the case since the shooter was a Swiss citizen.

In Berisha's home village of Nec, relatives began pouring into the family house late Wednesday to express condolences. Viktor's father, Mark declined to meet with reporters because he was shocked by the news, said a distant cousin, Pal Binishi.

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The Nec area borders Albania and is home to most of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians who are Roman Catholic.

Many ethnic Albanians from Nec went to look for a better life in Switzerland during the violent breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s when Kosovo was brought into the strict control of Serbia's security apparatus led by then-president Slobodan Milosevic.

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Qena reported from Nec, Kosovo.

 

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