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 / Updated  / Source: NBC News
By Claudio Lavanga

A defendant in a bankruptcy case opened fire in an Italian courthouse on Thursday, killing a judge and a lawyer, according to local reports.

Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano confirmed via his Twitter account that the suspected gunman had been arrested, but provided no further details of the incident. The man was being held at a Carabinieri police station in the Milanese suburb of Vimercate, Alfano added.

Officials told Italy's national broadcaster RAI that the shooter was a defendant in a bankruptcy case and that he had shot dead a judge in his office and a lawyer inside the courtroom itself. The identity of the judge and suspected shooter was also reported by Reuters, citing appeals court chairman Giovanni Canzio, and Italian police. NBC News was not immediately able to confirm these details.

Witnesses reported barricading themselves inside their offices and taking cover under their desks as police hunted for the gunman, according to The Associated Press.

The shooting raised questions about how the suspect was allegedly able to get a gun past the courthouse's metal detectors. "I don¹t understand how did someone manage to bring a gun inside the courthouse," magistrate Fabio Roja told RAI.

A woman cries as she is evacuated from the tribunal building in Milan, Italy, after a shooting was reported inside a courtroom on Thursday.Luca Bruno / AP

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.