Two Italian police officers were shot dead in a firefight with two alleged migrant suspects. The two suspects, a pair of brothers, have been arrested, according to police sources.
The officers died of their wounds in hospital. Both officers killed were said to be around 30 years old. Another three policemen were injured in the shootout, along with one of the alleged robbers.
The suspects, from the Dominican Republic, were named as Alejandro Augusto Stephan Meran, 29, “affected by psychiatric issues”, and Carlysle Stephan Meran, 32. The younger brother was the shooter, police said.
The shooting happened after the two migrant brothers were taken to the station for questioning related to a search for the suspects of a scooter stolen early in the morning, police said. One of the two then grabbed an officer’s gun after being accompanied to the toilet. He fired at the law enforcement officers while both brothers were trying to flee.
Italian President Sergio Matteralla voiced sadness at the “barbaric” shootings as Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese headed to Trieste.
One of the two victims is Pierluigi Rotta, 34, the son of a policeman, from Pozzuoli near Naples and the other was named as Matteo De Menego.
According to the investigators’ reconstruction of the facts, there was a real firestorm in the Trieste police station on Friday afternoon. The rap sheet on the arrest of the migrant speaks of the facts: “He [Alejandro Meran] attempted the murder of at least eight other agents, three of whom were in charge of surveillance, four in charge of the mobile squad and one who intervened in aid after hearing the shots.”
According to a report from Italian daily Il Giornale, the suspect ended up with two guns taken from agents and fired the weapon multiple times. Not all the shots, luckily, were fatal, but Alejandro Meran was in a fury.
The rumor of “psychological problems” experienced by the suspect have begun to circulate, but it appears that only the drugs were found during the house search pointing towards a simple lack of lucidity.
There are certainly no records of any specialist visits of the shooter to psychologists in Italy. In Germany, Meran has friends and contacts, useful for a possible escape abroad. He is now in the hospital and said he does not want to answer the investigators’ questions.
One thing is certain, Alejandro shot both Rotta and Demenego in cold blood. He emptied 12 rounds in Rotta, the gun’s entire magazine and then turned to Rotta’s colleague. In total Meran fired 23 shots.
On the images of the security cameras, Meran can be seen pointing the gun at eye level as he takes the other weapon in the holster away from one of the two victims.
On social media, Demenego’s father wanted to remember his son’s sensitivity and his attachment to duty and uniform with a simple message: “Hi my hero, now you will be our Guardian Angel”. Not long ago, Demenego had saved a young man from committing suicide.
Meanwhile, last night Trieste gathered for a torchlight procession in memory of the two victims: Two agents in their thirties who lost their lives trying to protect other colleagues from the murderous fury of a ruthless and unscrupulous Dominican migrant.
I poliziotti di Roma all'Altare della Patria esprimono così la loro vicinanza e il loro dolore per i colleghi caduti a Trieste. Onore. E giustizia. 🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/7RmufGglfK
— Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi) October 5, 2019
According to Lega leader Matteo Salvini, the entire city was moved by the terrible death of the two agents. “An entire city comes together around the police and the families of the two poor chaps. Let it be a sign of hope for this Sunday that begins,” Salvini tweeted.
Il grande cuore di Trieste ieri sera, commovente. Un’intera città si stringe intorno alla Polizia e alle famiglie dei due poveri ragazzi. Sia un segno di speranza per questa domenica che inizia. pic.twitter.com/skvTT4YHrW
— Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi) October 6, 2019