Mass Shooter Attacks Residents’ Committee Meeting in Rome
Three people were killed after a man opened fire at a café in Rome, Italy, on Sunday. Four others were injured, one critically. The people were meeting as part of a local block’s residents’ committee, and the 57-year-old suspect had a history of disputes with some of the committee’s board, the BBC reported.
The committee’s vice president, Luciana Ciorba, told reporters that the gunman entered the outdoor seating area of the café on 11 December allegedly shouting, “I’ll kill you all,” before shooting at people with a pistol. The suspect was reportedly overpowered by people in the café before police arrived. Ciorba said that the man was known to board members and had been reported to authorities in the past for making threats against local residents.
The suspect allegedly stole the gun used in the shooting from a shooting range, which is now closed and under investigation.
The mayor of Rome, Roberto Gualtieri, called the shooting a “grave episode of violence that has struck our city.” Gualtieri said he would attend an emergency meeting today about it, the Associated Press reported.
One of the three women who were killed, Nicoletta Golisano, was a friend of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. Meloni shared a tribute to Golisano on social media yesterday evening, noting that the families of the victims “to whom I express my deepest sympathy, have been destroyed,” according to CBS News.
Italy has a total population of 59.07 million and has a significant gun culture—Italians own 8.6 million guns, a Reader’s Digest essay noted—but mass shootings are rare. The total number of gun deaths in Italy was just 602 in 2017, compared to 39,773 the same year in the United States, according to GunPolicy.org, a global research project from the University of Sydney. This difference is one of many reasons why American threat assessment styles fail to resonate in European nations, said Cornelis van Putten and Bram B. Van der Meer in their Security Management article “Translating Your Threat Assessment Approach.”
“Professional trainers teaching threat assessment in Europe should be aware that terminology associated with strong physical violence and criminal behavior does not sound appealing to the European corporate world,” they wrote. “Also, using extreme examples of mass murder and gun violence to illustrate [threat assessment and management] does not resonate within the European work context. This approach does not appeal to the needs of European organizations, mainly because of the low base rate of gun incidents and perhaps also because of subtle cultural differences.
“There is more attention paid these days to physical and social safety in European organizations due to heightened public emphasis on harassment, intimidation, and the #MeToo movement,” they continued. Threat assessment and management “is aimed at the early detection of people exhibiting concerning behaviors relating to and preceding phenomena like harassment, threats, stalking, conspiracy, suicide, and other forms of workplace violence.”
Those phenomena can escalate into more violent behaviors, they wrote, which makes the establishment of a threat assessment function focused on early warning and intervention all the more important.