A real estate developer on trial for fraudulent bankruptcy fired 13 shots inside the Milan Tribunal on Thursday, killing his lawyer, a co-defendant and a judge, eluding court security before being captured 15 miles away.
The shooting raised concerns about security at Italy's courthouses, where much of the surveillance has been outsourced to private contractors, and about Italy's ability to protect visitors during the Milan Expo 2015 world's fair, which opens May 1 and is expected to attract 20 million visitors over six months.
Premier Matteo Renzi pledged a robust investigation into how the gunman, identified as Claudio Giardiello, managed to bring a pistol into the monumental Fascist-era tribunal, where defendants and other visitors are required to pass through metal detectors, but accredited court officials, including lawyers, are not.
"Our commitment is that this never happens again, and that those responsible pay," Renzi said.
The chief federal prosecutor in Milan, Edmondo Bruti Liberati, told reporters it appeared Giardiello may have used a fake document to enter through the only pedestrian entrance not equipped with a metal detector and intended only for use by accredited court officials.
Law enforcement apprehended Giardiello at a shopping center more than an hour after the shooting, after identifying the license plate on his motorbike and using video surveillance to track his arrival at the shopping center. Prosecutors said Giardiello was armed with a pistol and planned to kill another business partner whom he blamed for a failed real estate venture.
Giardiello pulled out the gun inside a third-floor bankruptcy courtroom after arguing with his lawyer, who had quit his mandate and was about to address the court, Bruti Liberati said. He shot the lawyer and two co-defendants, before descending the stairs where he ran into a business consultant, shooting him in the leg.
He continued to Judge Fernando Ciampi's office, shooting him twice, prosecutors said. The judge and the lawyer died at the scene, while one of the co-defendants died later while being treated at a hospital.