An Italian man, who reportedly ran unsuccessfully as an anti-immigrant candidate in a local election last year, wounded several foreigners in the central city of Macerata during a drive-by shooting on Saturday, according to police.
The suspect was identified as 28-year-old Luca Traini, according to multiple Italian media reports, citing police.
Sky TG24 reports the rampage lasted for at least an hour as the suspect began firing shots from his car before noon targeting people of color throughout the city and wounding six people all from Africa.
The mayor said the victims were five men and one woman and at least one person was in serious condition.
The shootings sparked widespread fear as police warned people to stay indoors and the mayor issued a curfew.
It only came to an end once the black Alfa Romeo was blocked, at which point the driver got out donning the Italian flag, made a fascist salute and submitted himself to police without resisting arrest, reports the Ansa news agency.
Police say Traini had no previous arrest record.
Italian media report Traini made a failed bid last year in administrative elections in the nearby city of Corridonia with the anti-immigrant Northern League party.
The ruling center-left Democratic Party said Traini also fired shots at one of their offices in Macerata on Saturday, reports Reuters.
Matteo Salvini, who heads the Northern League party, tweeted on Saturday, “Violence is never the solution, violence is always to be condemned. And whoever is wrong, must pay.” He went on to say, “Immigration out of control leads to chaos, anger, social conflict. Immigration out of control leads to drug dealing, theft, robbery and violence.”
The drive-by shooting comes during a tense time in Macerata after a Nigerian asylum seeker was accused in the murder of an 18-year-old woman whose dismembered body was found on Wednesday.
Northern League leader Salvini said the center-left government was responsible for her death for letting migrants stay in the country, reports Reuters. He posted to Facebook earlier this week of the Nigerian suspect, “What was this worm still doing in Italy?”
Christopher Livesay has reported for NPR that a recent surge in migrants to Italy has fueled right-wing anger over jobs and other benefits.