Political Assassination Prevented In Rome As Unemployed Man Tries To "Shoot Politicians"

Tyler Durden's picture

While suicides out of desperation had long been a tragic, if recurring, staple in depressionary Europe, so far popular anger had been directed at within, with few if any murderous outbursts targeted at other people, and certainly not at politicians (or financiers). This obviously has been a critical aspect of the current economic collapse in Europe - one needs but recall that it was a political assassination that sparked World War I in Sarajevo, and indirectly, via the Weimar collapse of Germany, set the stage for World War II, leading to the death of tens of millions around the globe. Today we came close. As the AP reports, during today's swearing in ceremony of Italy's new pseudo-technocrat yet anti-austerity government which has the blessings of Berlusconi, an "unemployed Italian gunman shot and seriously wounded two policemen Sunday in a square outside the premier's office in Rome, but he "wanted to shoot politicians," Rome prosecutor Pierfilippo Laviani said.


"Shots rang out in Chigi Square near a busy shopping and strolling area shortly after 11:30 a.m. just as Italy's new government -- Premier Enrico Letta and his new ministers -- were taking their oaths at the Quirinal presidential office, about a half-mile away. The suspected gunman, dressed in a dark business suit, was immediately grabbed by other police in the square, wrestled to the ground and taken away. Laviani, who later questioned the alleged assailant, said the man "wanted to shoot politicians, but given that he couldn't reach any, he shot the Carabinieri" police. Laviani added that the man "confessed everything," but didn't appear mentally unbalanced."

From AP:

The shooting "was the tragic gesture of an unemployed man," Interior Minister Angelino Alfano also told reporters after briefing Letta and his new Cabinet about the attack.




Alfano said the alleged gunman -- 49-year-old Luigi Preiti -- wanted to kill himself after the shooting but ran out of bullets. He said six shots were fired.


Italian media reports said the assailant was from southern Calabria and had lived for several years in northern Italy before moving back to Calabria after his marriage fell apart.


Sky TG24 TV quoted the man's brother as saying the alleged attacker had lost his job in a construction firm and was upset over marital problems.

This time only innocent policemen were shot. What about next time? Surely the socio-economic situation of the assailant is not in any way unique in Italy or any other depressionary European countries, of which there are many. And it doesn't take much for any one person, hope crushed and money gone, to go so far beyond the metaphorical ledge, that they are willing to die but not before taking some politicians with them.

More :

A woman passing by during the shooting was also slightly injured, Rome's mayor said. It was unclear if she was grazed by a bullet or hurt in the panic sparked by the gunfire.


It was not immediately clear if the shooting outside the Chigi Palace, which houses the premier's office and other government offices, was timed to coincide with the swearing-in ceremony. But tensions have been running high in Italy following inconclusive elections in February that left the country mired in political deadlock amid a deep recession.


The 46-year-old Letta nailed down a coalition deal only a day ago between two bitter political enemies -- his center-left forces and the conservative bloc of ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi.


Reporters inside the Chigi Palace press office heard the shots and raced outside. An AP television producer saw the two wounded Carabinieri officers in the square outside the palace. One of them lay on the pavement with blood pouring out of his neck.



Security was immediately stepped up near key venues in the Italian capital, but Alfano said authorities were not worried about related attacks.


"The general situation of public order is not causing any worry," he said. "Our initial investigation indicates the incident is due to an isolated gesture, although further investigations are being carried out."


Doctors at Rome's Umberto I Polyclinic said the more seriously injured of the two police officers was a 50-year-old brigadier. They told reporters that a bullet had entered the right side of the officer's neck, damaged his spinal column and was lodged near his shoulder.


The doctors said it wasn't yet known if the spinal column injury had caused any paralysis.


The other victim was a 30-year-old officer who was shot in the leg and had suffered a fracture, hospital officials said.


Preiti was taken to another Rome hospital. News reports said a protective collar was seen around the man's neck.


An aide to Foreign Minister Emma Bonino told reporters at the presidential palace that the new Cabinet members were kept briefly inside for security reasons until it was clear there was no immediate danger.


The new Cabinet ministers were seen smiling in a group photo as news of the shooting broke and it was apparent they weren't immediately aware of the attack.


"The news arrived after the swearing-in," said Dario Franceschini, one of the new ministers. `'Premier Letta is following the situation."


Metal fencing closes off Chigi Square, which flanks Via del Corso, one of Rome's most popular streets with strollers. The public can cross the square by showing identification,  and sometimes people can cross it without being stopped. It was unclear if the assailant had asked permission to enter the square.


Rome was jammed Sunday with tourists and residents enjoying a warm sunny morning on the last day of a four-day weekend.

All of this goes back to the bigger picture: for now the myth of the solvent welfare state, both in Europe and the US, has been successful at keeping the broader population within acceptable limits of docility, with only occasional bursts of murderous rage, either accompanied by terrorist intentions or not. Yet as every passing day demonstrates to the public that just like the stock market and the global economy, so too the welfare net is one big ponzi which is just as insolvent as every other aspect of the "developed" west, how long before political assassination attempts either in Rome, or everywhere else where a demoralized public just sees no other way out, become the norm?

And how many policemen will be taken down as they protect a regime which has no other mathematical option but to fail?

Finally, as noted earlier, it was a political assassination that set off the WWI dominoes some 100 years ago.

Will this time not be any different either as history once again repeats itself?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
FieldingMellish's picture

Note to police: next time, stand aside....

kushmere's picture

Funny how we haven't seen stories like these out of Iceland. Amazingly, punishing crime is effective at making a population happy.


knukles's picture

When malefactors of any shape, size, position, color, creed or persuasion are all held equally before the law, this kinda shit doesn't happen.
Pssst... It's a clue.

ZerOhead's picture

Unfortunately they never will be held before the law. The system itself has been completely corrupted

And as ShItaly descends further into economic depression ugly incidents such as these are bound to increase. Police state time is just around the corner. Might be a very good time to get out of Dodge...

DeadFred's picture

Everyone is getting all drama-queen about this. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand may have been the trigger for WWI but tensions were already high and people were itching for a war anyway. Do you see conditions like that today? Oops, my bad.

12ToothAssassin's picture

"Our initial investigation indicates the incident is due to an isolated gesture" until the copy cats get the idea...

Pure Evil's picture

The guy was an idiot. If he read ZH he'd know that shooting politicians was a waste of bullets. Should've set his sights on banksta's instead.

Urban Redneck's picture

The bankers' bench is deeper and replacements don't usually have to deal with the formalities of elections, confirmations, and other public consensus circuses.  Central Bankers on the other hand...

WTFUD's picture

PE wrong on that one. Working people do not vote for Banksta but they do for Politicos to represent them. In my book that makes Politicos 10 times worse.

Pure Evil's picture

Well, if anyone has some extra clips, now is the time to spray and pray.

HoofHearted's picture

If the dude having his face held down to the ground is the elleged assailant, it looks more like he is wearing the same outfit as the policeman in the foreground and not like a dark business suit. Someone tell me if I'm wrong...look at the pants lef with the red stripe going up the side. I don't have any dark business suits like that. Any of you bitchez have one of those???

I know, I've gone all conspiracy nutjob, but it looks plain as day that something is wrong with this picture. AndI don't even subscribe to Highlights magazine any more. (Who needs it these days? We've got the regular press to provide us with pictures that are wrong.)

panelvan76's picture

Look at the photo again.  There is a policeman straddling the assassin.  That is the policeman's leg with the red stripe.  

HoofHearted's picture

Oops. I'm an idiot. Carry on, people. Nothing to see here. 

Go ahead, up arrow the fact that I'm an idiot. I'll be the first up arrow on the comment.

SilverRhino's picture

+1 for having the balls/character to admit error.

tenpanhandle's picture

Kinda hard to bluff that one out.

Mototard at Large's picture

Take a second look at the photo.  The red stripe is on the pant leg of the policeman who is kneeling on the guy's back and handcuffing him.

Try again on your conspiracy theory.

BTW, no conspiracy theory required here. Most of the PIIGS countries truly distrust and often hate their politicians.  The only surprise to me is that there are not more shootings and suicides like this one or the pharmacist who killed himself in Syntagma Square.

Come to think of it....

master of the universe's picture

That IS the police officer's leg you see with the red stripe OVER his leg, not the man on the grounds. If you look at the other officer, you will see the same red stripe.

t_kAyk's picture

Take a second, third and fourth look at that top photo.  Notice the perfectly situated weapon on the ground, the grimace on the face of the man being subdued, the gun firmly gripped and hanging over the head/neck area of the dissedent... 


THIS be your fate should you choose to oppose, you sheep; stay within your fence and obey your shepherd. 

H E D G E H O G's picture

it's the fight club hoof', you've got 15(and counting) down errors because of your misspelling of alledged, and leg. please enable your spell check. (was a forward from the Tylers:)

e_goldstein's picture

Second note to police: Practice proper trigger discipline (see 1st pic).


Anusocracy's picture

Using the term 'innocent policemen' is like saying innocent mob enforcers.

Oh well, evil is in the eye of the beholder.

Uncle Remus's picture

Does that explain the jaundice?

Anusocracy's picture

Jingoism yes, I'm not sure about jaundice.

Mototard at Large's picture

Good point. Finger on the trigger is not a good sign of what the military would call fire discipline.

Oldwood's picture

Thats part of the "shoot first and ask questions later" training.

lolmao500's picture

Get real. Cops never side with the good side (the people) they always side with the scum (the tyrants). History shows this again and again.

Cops are dumber than a box of rocks. Doesn't matter if the people they protect rob their kids and grandkids's future... they firmly believe that if cops don't side with government, it'll be total anarchy and it'll be the end of civilization. They truly have been brainwashed.

/I know, my uncle is one of these brainwashed bastards. They always say : BUT BUT BUT DEMOCRACY WILL FIX EVERYTHING!! YEAH FUCKING RIGHT. We've seen what corpotracy has done in the last 50 years...

The truly good cops who have understood the game have left the force A LONG TIME AGO.

tenpanhandle's picture

"Get real. Cops never side with the good side (the people) they always side with the scum (the tyrants). History shows this again and again."



Anusocracy's picture

Half brainwashed, half programmed by nature.

That what your enemy is.

jimmytorpedo's picture


Ask the black dude at a KKK rally if he favours democracy.

overbet's picture

No wonder he is unemployed he cant do anything right.

Hopeless for Change's picture

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why there is such a push to take our guns away.

Saint Pitbull's picture

His heart was in the right spot,

but it sounds like his aim was off.

Hongcha's picture

Unemployed?  He appears gainfully employed to me ;)

JustObserving's picture

More Austerity, Anyone?

wee-weed up's picture

He only wanted to kill politicians?...

What? No bankers?

Oldballplayer's picture

Little kids get shot and they try to control guns. If Politicians start getting shot, they will outright ban them.

LetThemEatRand's picture

After Reagan was shot, we had the Brady Bill supported by Reagan.   Windshield cowboys all.  Of course only a complete fool would believe that politicians want to restrict guns to protect the people.  Whether it is power, control, or just fear for their own safety, the reasons behind gun control legislation are never what they are claimed.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ 1

You wrote:

"Of course only a complete fool would believe that politicians want to restrict guns to protect the people.  Whether it is power, control, or just fear for their own safety, the reasons behind gun control legislation are never what they are claimed."

Very astute.  

Maybe you will wind up joining us at FEMA Camp 116 (Belle Glade) after all...  


LetThemEatRand's picture

I wonder if they still have oranges there?  Then again we probably wouldn't be allowed to eat them.  We'd just be picking 'em for the guards.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Now that's the spirit!  Our custodian/watchers PUD, James_Cole, Praetorian Guards and MDB would be happy for us to pick their oranges.

You'll fit right in...


FYI, they're putting the gold bugs in Compound 3, Building 16.  See ya there!

LetThemEatRand's picture

You are right about MDB.  In fact, they would probably appoint him the head the the national propaganda office, not realizing he is being ironic.  Maybe he's on to something....

knukles's picture

Outlawing Guns?
If the politicians were truly interested in keeping their citizenry safe by stripping them of guns, they'd already have started in the inner cities, for Fuck's Sake.

They're not and thus, aren't.
They  have other clearly apparent motives which I'll leave you all to discern, personally.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

They're too chicken (cluck-cluck) to start confiscating in the inner cities.  Or else, the inner cities have the base population for Obama's new internal army...

Oldballplayer's picture

I will have a couple diamonds with me. But I don't think you will want to see them.

Atomizer's picture

RE: DoChenRollingBearing

An alias of the original PUD has surfaced on ZH. It’s up to Tyler and the group to decide. I was apart of observing this character repeat the same actions on the Market Ticker Forum during 2007-2008. Again, it’s not the same person. They do wish to copy his personality. Funny how time catches up. LOL

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Mr. (Ms?) PUD definitely has his/her limits as a smart commentator.

As a prison guard, s/he might be pretty good.  Shrill helps!

Atomizer's picture

Never doze off while watching the security monitor. Look & listen for the panther heading up the staircase. LOL

Uncle Remus's picture

"Being mortal is a bitch." - Dubiously attributed to Dick "Darth" Cheney.

LetThemEatRand's picture

He had the perfect gig -- shoot at birds kept in cages until he arrived in his truck, no accountability if he shot a friend while drinking, and armed guards everywhere to keep out the riff raff.  That is the model to which almost all modern politicians aspire.