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African protesters overturned bins and damaged property in Florence on Monday evening, to denounce the killing of an African street vendor who was shot to death in the city centre earlier in the day / Photo: Screenshot/Ruptly

African shot dead in Florence, Italy

An Italian man shot an African street vendor to death on Monday 5 March in Florence, one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations, police said. 

Police arrested the 66-year-old Italian who they said had fired six pistol shots at the 54-year-old Senegalese man as he was selling leather bags, umbrellas and trinkets near a bridge in the city.

However, police said a racial motivation for the Florence shooting had been ruled out.

Police confront African protesters on Monday evening, / Photo: Screenshot/Ruptly


According to the Italian press agency ANSA, which cited the police, the alleged shooter, “left his house Monday morning intending to kill himself … but then decided to shoot anyone who came his way in order to be taken to prison and not weigh on his family anymore.” A farewell note to his daughter has reportedly been found in his home.

Last month an Italian man with links to anti-immigrant party La Lega opened fire on African migrants in the city of Macerata, wounding six before he was captured, in what police said was a racially motivated attack.

In December 2011, an Italian gunman killed two street sellers from Senegal and wounded three other people in a racially-motivated shooting spree in Florence before committing suicide. Gianluca Casseri, 50, who Italian officials described as a right-wing extremist, parked his car in the crowded Dalmazia square at lunch time on the fateful day, got out and started shooting with a large pistol, witnesses reported.

Austin Ohaegbu with agency

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