ROME—A 57-year-old man who is accused of shooting up a Sunday morning condo meeting in a bar in Rome posted photos of Mussolini and Hitler on his Facebook page.
Claudio Campiti is alleged to have killed three women—including a close friend of Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni—after taking a gun from a local shooting range into the bar where his condo meeting was being held and yelling, “I’m going to kill everyone.” Three other people were injured, including one woman who is in grave condition with facial wounds.
Among the victims of the horrific incident were Sabina Sperandio, Elisabetta Silenzi and the PM’s friend Nicoletta Golisano. Meloni posted a photo of Golisano at her recent 50th birthday where Meloni was one of the guests. “It is not right to die like this,” Meloni wrote. “Nicoletta was happy, and beautiful, in the red dress she bought for her 50th birthday party a few weeks ago. For me she will always be beautiful and happy like this.”
Fellow residents tackled Campiti to the ground after he opened fire. Police say he had 170 bullets and a spare magazine in his pocket. He also had around $6,000, his passport and a backpack with some clothing, implying to police that he had planned to escape after the shooting.
Police later found that he had been denied a gun license after making threats to the condo residents in the city of Rieti, where he lived in a makeshift basement of a building under the administration of the Valle Verde Consorzio, which was holding a meeting in Rome Sunday morning.
In addition to his Facebook posts, which included photos of mini statues and references to Hitler and Mussolini, he kept a blog detailing complaints about the Valle Verde Consortium, in which his threats were clear. “The Valleverde Consortium is actually a criminal association, I would even say mafia because when a group of scoundrels manages to subjugate citizens there is a mafia,” he wrote in the most recent post. He accused the consortium of “intimidating acts by the local mafiosi, tampering with my electricity meter box, damaging of my mailbox.” He also accused them of turning off a local street light, which he said would allow him to “see less and shoot in peace.”
The consortium was holding its monthly meeting at a coffee bar in northern Rome when he allegedly opened fire. In Italy, residents in apartment blocks run by administrators or consortiums often meet to air complaints and hash over maintenance and other work. They are notoriously contentious with fist fights and screaming matches not entirely unheard of.
Campiti and his wife separated in 2008. His only son died in a sledding accident in 2012 and the family was awarded around $250,000 in compensation after three people were found guilty of negligence in the death.
Police have not said if there was a specific issue on the agenda Sunday morning, but several witnesses said Campiti was behind in his condo payments and was “well known” for his ill temper towards other residents.
Gun violence is rare in Italy, where there are strict regulations on weapons. Campiti is said to have checked out the semi-automatic pistol he used from a local shooting range and then failed to check it back in. Police have since closed the range and sequestered records to determine if he was a regular patron and what identification he left as is required to check out a weapon.