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Swiss gunman dies after shooting himself

January 3, 2017

A man in north-eastern Switzerland has killed himself after shooting two police officers during a house search close to the German and Austrian borders. His address was initally searched on the suspicion of growing hemp.

Swiss police officer
Image: picture alliance/dpa/G. Ehrenzeller

Swiss police confirmed on Tuesday that a 33-year-old man shot two police officers during a house search in the town of Rehtobel, before later turning the gun on himself. The man was not trying to commit an act of terror, police said.

Authorities had initially been searching the address, close to the German and Austrian border, on the suspicion that the man was growing hemp.

Police officer in critical condition

On shooting the two officers, the man reportedly fled the scene and was later re-located. After hours of negotiations, the suspect shot himself when police tried to take him into custody. He later died from his self-inflicted wound.

The injured police officers were also taken to hospital, where one of them remains in a critical condition.

Unusual case

Despite having one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world, Switzerland is relatively unaccustomed to gun-related crime.

According to Swiss law, any citizen over the age of 18 is permitted to possess arms under certain conditions. Among Switzerland's population of about eight million, some two million weapons are estimated to be in private hands.

ksb/rc (AFP, dpa)