A gunman drove through Macerata, Italy this morning (Feb. 3), opening fire from his vehicle, reportedly shouting “Viva l’Italia!” and making a fascist salute. The attack didn’t end until early afternoon, with at least six African migrants wounded. Authorities believe the rampage was racially motivated.
Police detained a 28-year-old Italian they believe to be responsible. He was said to have been wearing an Italian flag draped over his shoulder as he was arrested. Local media identified the man as Luca Traini, a Northern League (Lega Nord) member who had previously run for office in town elections.
Founded with secession from Italy in mind, the Northern League has since taken up a harshly anti-immigration platform, with Northern League federal secretary and party head Matteo Salvini promising to triple deportations and overhaul border security if the party is elected in Italy’s forthcoming general election, scheduled for March 4.
Today’s attack comes days after an 18-year-old Italian woman’s dismembered body was found in two suitcases near Macerata. Pamela Mastropietro ran away from a rehab center and was last seen alive Jan. 30. A 29-year-old Nigerian man was detained as a suspect, prompting parties like the Northern League to decry the crime and push their nationalist agenda.
“The left has blood on its hands,” Salvini wrote in a Facebook post about the incident.