Multiple Fatality Shooting Strikes Switzerland

( – Two people were killed and another injured in a shock shooting in Switzerland on December 11. A man opened fire in two separate locations in the small town of Sion, police said, but no cause has yet been explained. Authorities later announced that police arrested a suspect, but no details about his identity were provided.

Media reports state that the unnamed gunman opened fire on several people near the town early in the morning, leaving a man and a woman dead and another woman critically injured. A manhunt was immediately launched, and a suspect detained soon afterward. Initial reports suggest the shooter knew his victims, and police confirmed that a murder investigation was underway.

The town of Sion is in the Southwest of the country and has a population of around 35,000 people. According to national statistics, Sion is considered one of the safest towns in Switzerland, with a crime rate of just 21.44 incidents per 100,000 residents annually.

Shootings in the usually peaceful nation are also relatively rare, and the last such incident took place in March when a man shot himself and his family in Yverdon-les-Bains. Two people died in a drug-related shooting in 2020, and prior to that, a gunman injured three at an Islamic Center in Zurich in 2016.

Despite the low number of gun-related incidents, Switzerland has among the highest rates of gun ownership in the world. The small European country has a population of around nine million and is home to more than 2 million firearms. Peter Nussbaumer, president of a gun club, said weapons ownership is a tradition in Switzerland that “dates back to the 14th century.”

Military service, and therefore gun training, is compulsory for all males aged 18 to 34, and women can sign up voluntarily. In 2021, over 1,700 women enlisted. Service personnel keep their weapons at home and can purchase them from the army at the end of their service period.

Copyright 2023,