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Swiss Cops Kill Gunman After Spree

March 26, 2000

CHUR, Switzerland (AP) _ Swiss police sharpshooters killed a lone gunman who fired wildly off his balcony during a ten-hour shooting spree that injured two police officers in this mountain town.

Police found the body of the unidentified 22-year-old Swiss man after forcing their way into his apartment. A spokeswoman said he had been killed by police marksmen as he stood on his balcony with a rifle.

Shooting crimes are rare in Switzerland, even though most Swiss men possess a weapon as part of their service in the militia army.

Police were first alerted early Sunday morning by locals reporting that a man had fired several shots at a restaurant on the outskirts of Chur, a scenic town on the edge of the eastern Swiss Alps.

Authorities ordered the 12 other residents of the small apartment complex to stay indoors before finally evacuating them late in the afternoon. They sealed off the area and stopped local traffic.

One officer was critically wounded when police tried to storm the apartment earlier in the standoff and a police dog was killed. Another policeman was injured when the man rushed out of his apartment early in the afternoon. Officials said they considered themselves fortunate to have avoided more casualties.

Police said all attempts at dialogue with the man failed. No information was immediately available about why the man might have gone on the shooting rampage.

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