Swiss driver shot dead after high-speed chase

Police in Montreux shot dead a 45-year-old man in the early hours of Thursday morning after he stepped out of his car at a road block armed with a hunting rifle following a high-speed chase.

At 3am, cantonal police in Valais began pursuing a light blue Ford Mustang with Russian plates clocked speeding on the motorway at 200 kilometres per hour, newspaper 20 Minuten reports.

After Valais police lost track of the vehicle, a canton Vaud gendarmerie unit in Villeneuve tried to pull the driver over.

But the 45-year-old Swiss man sped through a checkpoint in the town and raced on towards Montreux.

Anticipating the man’s arrival, police set up a road block in the middle of the western city.

When the Mustang came to a halt, a police car containing three officers drove up from behind.

The three gendarmes then opened fire as the driver stepped out of the car wielding a 12-caliber hunting rifle.

The driver died in the shooting, while one of the officers was accidentally shot in the shoulder by a colleague. The police officers fired a total of nine shots. The victim did not fire his weapon, police said.

A resident of Valais, the driver was not previously known to the police. Besides the rifle, he also had 25,000 francs ($27,000) in cash with him in the car.  He did not own a gun licence.

An investigation is underway into the exact circumstances of the shooting.

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