Two Italian parliamentary officers were shot outside the prime minister’s office in Rome on Sunday in what Italy’s interior minister called a “tragic criminal gesture by an unemployed man.”
No one was killed, but at least three people were wounded, according to early wire reports. One officer was shot in the neck and in serious condition, and another was shot in the leg, while a female passerby was also slightly injured, the Associated Press reports.
The incident took place just as Enrico Letta, Italy’s new prime minister, was being sworn in about a mile away. The 46-year-old Letta is the moderate deputy head of the Democratic Party. His swearing in follows an inconclusive election, two months of legislative deadlock and sour political division within the Italian government, as the country continues to grapple with protracted economic strife.
Angelino Alfano, Italy’s newly appointed interior minister, told reporters that the shooting appeared to be an “isolated act” and that no wider security threat was apparent, according to Reuters. The gunman was reportedly identified by police as Luigi Preiti, a man in his forties from the southern region of Calabria. The area has been plagued by particularly high unemployment.
Italy’s recession is on track to be its longest since World War II.