Wednesday, November 28, 2007
A 16-year-old girl was shot dead from distance in Zürich, Switzerland on Friday night. The victim was waiting with her companion at a bus stop in Zürich at 10 p.m. CET, next to the Hönggerberg campus of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, a technical university. The shooter, a conscript in the Swiss Armed Forces, used his army-issued assault rifle to shoot the victim at a distance of 60-100 metres. With a gunshot wound in her upper body, the girl died in the arms of her companion before the medical help could arrive.
“Yes, it was me who was shooting,” confirmed the 21-years-old Swiss recruit of Chilean ancestry, who had just finished his training at recruit school on the same day. He did not know his victim, who was a 16-year-old hairdresser apprentice. The state attorney assumes that the shooter has picked his victim randomly. The motive of the crime is not known at the moment.
There is an ongoing domestic debate whether soldiers should continue to keep their firearms at home. According to a study by Martin Killias, a criminologist at the School of Forensic Sciences and Criminology in Lausanne, army-issued firearms are responsible for 300 deaths annually in Switzerland and two-thirds of suicides-by-firearm are committed with army-issued firearms.