Gunman kills two children and pensioner in shooting near Rome

Italy shocked by triple murder in Ardea.

A man shot and killed two children and a pensioner in a small seaside town south of Rome on Sunday 13 June, in a case that has shocked Italy.

After the shooting the 34-year-old attacker holed up in his house nearby, killing himself before police stormed the building several hours later.

The gunman was named as Andrea Pignani, an unemployed computer engineer who had been living with his mother and had reportedly not left the house in about a year.

Accounts by locals suggest the man suffered from mental health issues and had threatened neighbours in the past by waving a gun in the air, according to news agency ANSA.

The weapon had been held legally by the man's father, a security guard who died last November. However the gun was never reported to authorities after his death and police sources told the media that they had not received any complaints.

At around 11.00 on Sunday morning Pignani left his house, armed with the pistol, and walked through the residential area of Colle Romito.

On his way he met Daniel and David Fusinato, two brothers aged five and 10, who were playing in a park in front of their house when Pignani shot them at point-blank range, for no apparent reason.

Pignani also shot Salvatore Ranieri in the head, killing the 84-year-old who was passing by on a bicycle.

Ranieri, who reportedly knew neither his killer nor the two brothers, had been staying with his wife at their holiday home in Ardea, located about 40 km south of Rome.

Pignani then attempted to shoot a fourth person, a man putting out the trash, but he was reportedly out of range and survived.

The grandmother of the two boys told reporters that they died holding the hands of their father who rushed to the scene after hearing gunshots.

According to media reports there did not appear to be any previous conflict between the killer and the boys' father, who is currently under house arrest for drugs offences.

Ranieri's wife reportedly discovered her husband's body at the scene of the shooting after becoming worried when he did not return from his cycle.

Police are attempting to find a motive for the seemingly random attack which has been condemned by politicians and has opened up a debate in Italy about possession of firearms.

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Address 00040 Colle Romito RM, Italy

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Gunman kills two children and pensioner in shooting near Rome

00040 Colle Romito RM, Italy