ZURICH (AFP) – Five people were killed in a shooting in northern Switzerland, police said Sunday, rocking the normally tranquil nation.
The shooter in the drama that played out on Saturday evening in the town of Wuerenlingen, near Zurich, was among the dead, Michael Leutpold, the head of the local police told a news conference, adding that it was linked to a personal conflict.
All the victims and the shooter were Swiss, he said, adding: “We have ruled out a terrorist angle.”
He said the shooter was a 36-year-old Swiss national but did not reveal his identity. Local media reports described him as a policeman and father of three.
He did not have a gun licence and did not fire with a police weapon, the police spokesman said.
The shooter first went to a house in a residential area and fired on three people, killing a 58-year-old man, his 57-year-old wife and a 32-year-old man.
The older couple were his parents-in-law and the younger man his brother-in-law, police said. He then went to another house and shot dead a 46-year-old man before turning the gun on himself.
Neighbours had alerted police after hearing gunshots after 11 pm local time (5 am Singapore).
The latest shooting, which follows similar incidents in January and November, sent shock waves through the tiny Alpine nation.
“This is not possible, we are after all the richest and happiest country in the world,” said the German-language Swiss newspaper Blick.
In a report published late last month, Switzerland was found to have the world’s happiest people, sparking a wave of national pride and media fervour with front-page headlines.
In the annual World Happiness Report by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada followed in the rankings that measured happiness and well-being levels in 158 countries.
According to unconfirmed estimates, there are up to 4.5 million firearms in circulation in the country.
It is one of the world’s top countries in terms of the circulation of firearms, after the United States, Yemen and Serbia.