• Switzerland's news in English

Menznau gunman killed by his pistol, police say

Malcolm Curtis · 22 Mar 2013, 07:36

Published: 22 Mar 2013 07:36 GMT+01:00

The bullet was either fired intentionally by the gunman in an act of suicide or the gun went off by accident during a scuffle with another employee at the Kronospan plant, police said at a press conference in Lucerne on Thursday that shed new light on the deadly February 27th shooting spree.

The shooter, a Swiss citizen originally from Kosovo identified as Viktor B., was almost certainly not killed by another person, said criminal police chief Daniel Bussman, the ATS news agency reported.

Family relatives of the shooter earlier said they did not believe he committed suicide.

This conclusion was reached by investigators after they interviewed witnesses of the incident, viewed surveillance videos and received an analysis from the local forensic institute.

Following an initial investigation, police said the killer was carrying two fully loaded handguns, a revolver and a pistol, along with ammunition in a bag, Bussman said.

The gunman fired 18 shots, wounding six employees in addition to the two male and one female co-workers he killed.

Those who died included a canteen worker and a wrestling champion.

Five of the wounded victims were seriously injured with two of them still receiving treatment in hospital.

In recapping what happened, police said the machine worker walked down a corridor and shot three people in an office before heading to a cafeteria where he continued shooting, ATS said.

Seventeen people dived under tables but a man in the cafeteria seized a chair and attempted to stop the man from shooting.

The police description of what happened confirmed earlier reports of employees’ courageous acts to prevent the gunman from killing or wounding more people, ATS reported.

Viktor B. fired at the man who received a bullet in the jaw but was still able to grab the killer, police said.

In the ensuing scuffle the two men fell to the floor.

The gunman did not move and another employee struck him on the back with another chair.

According to witnesses the shooter still had a pistol in his hand after the fatal shot was fired.

They testified that an employee took the gun out of the man’s hand and threw it out a window.

Police said the exact reasons for the gunman’s actions remain unknown, according to the ATS report.

Born in Kosovo, he obtained political asylum in Switzerland in 1991 and became a Swiss citizen 10 years later.

Police added that the pistol used by the gunman was acquired illegally while the other handgun, which he did not use, was bought legally, although he did not have a permit to carry either weapon.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
WHO calls for action against air pollution
File photo: Issouf Sarego/AFP

Nine out of 10 people globally are breathing poor quality air, the World Health Organization has said.

Two arrested in police raid on Basel mosque
File photo: Michele Limini/AFP

Police in Basel raided a controversial mosque in the city and arrested two people on Tuesday morning, Swiss media reported.

Families slapped with hefty rise in health costs
File photo: Marcel Grieder

Health insurance premiums will rise by on average 4.5 percent for adults and 6.6 percent for children in 2017.

Neuchâtel votes no to foreigners running for office
Photo: kuhnmi/Flickr

Neuchâtel voted on Sunday against an initiative that would have made it the first Swiss canton to allow foreigners stand in cantonal elections.

Swiss voters say no to higher pensions
Photo: AFP

Swiss voters on Sunday rejected a plan to increase pension payments by ten percent.

Italians enraged by Ticino foreign worker vote
File picture of Lega Nord leader Roberto Maroni. Photo: AFP

The leader of Italy's Lega Nord is plotting "adequate counter-measures".

EU warns Swiss over vote to curb cross-border workers
Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann (R) and EC President Jean-Claude Juncker met in Zurich on September 19th to talk about the implementation of Swiss immigration restrictions. Photo: AFP

The EU warned Switzerland on Monday over a vote by one of its cantons backing curbs on migrants, an issue being closely watched in London as a possible template for Brexit negotiations.

Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Twelve thousand women participated in a race against breast cancer in Le Mans, France, October 2014. Photo: AFP

The study suggests a link between aluminium salts and breast cancer.

Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Airolo in the Gotthard Pass. Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl

Voters in Ticino on Sunday strongly backed an initiative giving preference to local workers over foreigners.

France demands 45,000 Swiss accounts in tax hunt
Photo: AFP

France is tracking down UBS account holders.

Sponsored Article
7 tips for learning Swiss French
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Photo: File
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
Photo: AFP
Swiss ‘slave children’ to finally get compensation
Photo: Jan Geerk/Swiss-image.ch
Zurich named ‘greenest’ city on the planet
Photo: Swiss
Brawl over seats forces Swiss to abort flight
Photo: Daniel Stockhammer
Research shows typical Swiss chalets ‘not actually Swiss’
Photo: AFP
Switzerland to get nationwide disaster alert system
Photo: S3
Swiss space firm boss left badly injured in violent attack
Photo: ETH Zurich
ETH Zurich crowned best uni in continental Europe – again
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Report: Swiss citizenship rules leave some stateless
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Fatal crash: pilot told to fly below safe altitude
Photo: Peter Linke
Business & Money
Elderly Italian on benefits stashed €1m in Swiss bank
Photo: Stuart Richards
Court sides with chickens in dispute over noisy henhouse
Photo: SAC
Hiking: 7 incredible Swiss Alpine Club cabins
Photo: David Abercrombie
Swiss politician arrested over illegal entry of migrants
Photo: Coiffure X
Chewbacca stolen in ‘terrorist attack’ on Swiss hair salon
Photo: AFP
Foreigners in Switzerland surpass 2 million mark
Photo: AFP
Expert predicts major quake for Switzerland by 2040
Photo: The Local
Geneva runs out of permits for non-EU workers
Photo:C Carlstead
Geneva advises teachers on religion in school
jobs available