Rome not the Wild West says mayor

Rome mayor thanks police for reducing crime in the capital.

"Anger, anger and shame. The death of a 24-year-old man killed by two criminals is unacceptable, unjust, heart-wrenching and [leaves us] torn apart."

This was the reaction of Rome mayor Virginia Raggi in a Facebook post in relation to the murder of Luca Sacchi who died after being shot in the head in the city's Appio Latino area.

Rome police have detained two suspects in relation to the murder of Sacchi, a 24-year-old personal trainer who was shot on the night of 23 October and died of his injuries the next day.

"I am sure that we all immediately thought of this young man's family" - Raggi wrote - "of a mother and a father who accompanied him in life, of his brother who was a few metres away while he was shot, we all thought of his girlfriend who saw him die by her side. Everyone, without knowing him and not knowing the context of this atrocious act, wanted to express affection because the death of a young man is always unfair."

Raggi continues: "The shame, on the other hand, is to see the exploitation of a death", a perceived reference to controversial remarks by the far-right Lega leader and former interior minister Matteo Salvini, who linked Sacchi's murder to alleged funding cuts to the capital's police force.

"The shame is also that of having to find oneself compelled to respond and write these lines to say that Rome is not the Wild West and that Roman citizens are not bandits." Raggi praised the capital's police forces whose efforts show "improvements in the data on the fight against crime in Rome."

Concluding her statement Raggi said: "Let us put aside any controversy, let us unite in front of the death of a young man. Let the investigators work. This is a moment for silence and reflection."

Police chief Franco Gabrielli also intervened following Salvini's remarks - described by premier Giuseppe Conte as "miserable" - to say that Rome is "not Gotham City."

Photo Rome mayor Virginia with police chief Franco Gabrielli. Il Messaggero.