Updated: Three dead in Switzerland shooting

Police patrol in the village of Daillon after a shooting, in Switzerland, early today.  Photo: Keystone, Olivier Maire

Police patrol in the village of Daillon after a shooting, in Switzerland, early today. Photo: Keystone, Olivier Maire

A gunman armed with an old-model military rifle shot and killed three women and injured two men in a Swiss village, and was then arrested by officers who shot and injured him.

Police in the southern state of Valais said they were alerted to the shooting in the village of Daillon just before 9pm local time last night.

Officers arrived at the scene of the shooting 15 minutes later to find a man with a military rifle, which can be bought in military surplus markets, according to interim police chief Robert Steiner.

"The shooter pointed his weapon at our colleagues, so they had to open fire to neutralise him, to avoid being injured themselves," police spokesman Jean-Marie Bornet told Swiss radio.

He said the gunman lived in Daillon, but the motive for the shooting was not clear.

Prosecutor Catherine Seppey said the gunman - who was not identified - knew several of the victims, but "he was not known for making threats".

Three of the victims, aged 32, 54 and 79, died at the scene, and the two injured men, aged 33 and 63, were taken to hospital.

The youngest of the victims, the 32-year-old woman and the 33-year-old man, were a couple with two children.

"We have no words to express ourselves after an event like this," Christophe Germanier, head of the Conthey district where the shooting occurred, told a news conference.

"The year 2013 started badly. The day was sunny yesterday, but the evening was black," he said.

It was not yet clear how the gunman obtained his weapon.


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