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5 Killed in Swiss Shooting

  • VOA News

TV crews perpare for a statement in front of a house in Wuerenlingen, Switzerland, where several people were killed late Saturday, May 10, 2015.

TV crews perpare for a statement in front of a house in Wuerenlingen, Switzerland, where several people were killed late Saturday, May 10, 2015.

A gunman killed three relatives and a neighbor in a late-night rampage in a northern Swiss village before turning his weapon on himself, local police said on Sunday.

Residents heard shots in the town of Wuerenlingen shortly after 11 p.m. (2100 GMT) Saturday, police said. Officers then found five bodies in a quiet residential neighborhood.

The shooting appears to have been a “relationship crime” or the result of domestic dispute, Aargau canton (state) police chief Michael Leupold said at a news conference. Police “were able to rule out a terrorist background” or any other danger, he added.

The presumed killer, a 36-year-old Swiss national who was separated from his wife and the couple's three children, shot dead his father-in-law, mother-in-law and brother-in-law, police told a news conference. The gunman is then believed to have killed a 46-year-old neighbor outside the house before shooting himself.

Police said the gunman, whom they did not identify, lived in another part of Switzerland and was known to police for violent behavior. The murder weapon was unregistered, they said.

Described as police officer

Local media reports described him as a policeman and father of three. However, the gunman's wife and three children weren't targeted in the shooting.

Wuerenlingen is a town of some 4,500 people northwest of Zurich, near the German border.

The latest shooting, which follows similar incidents in January and November, sent shock waves through the tiny Alpine nation.

"This is not possible, we are after all the richest and happiest country in the world," the German-language Swiss newspaper Blick wrote, according to the French news agency AFP.

In a report published late last month, Switzerland was found to have the world's happiest people, sparking a wave of national pride and media fervor with front-page headlines.

However, according to unconfirmed estimates, there are up to 4.5 million firearms in circulation in the country.

It is one of the world's top countries in terms of the circulation of firearms, after the United States, Yemen and Serbia.

Material for this report came from Reuters, AP and AFP.

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