GENEVA (AP) — A man using an old-model Swiss military rifle shot and killed three women and wounded two men in a Swiss village, and was then arrested by officers who shot and injured him, police said Thursday.
Police in the southern canton (state) of Valais said they were alerted to the shooting in the village of Daillon just before 9 p.m. (2000GMT) Wednesday.
Officers arrived at the scene of the shooting 15 minutes later to find a man with a military rifle, which can be bought in military surplus markets, according to interim cantonal police chief Robert Steiner.
"The shooter pointed his weapon at our colleagues, so they had to open fire to neutralize him, to avoid being injured themselves," police spokesman Jean-Marie Bornet told Swiss radio. He said the shooter lived in Daillon, and the motive for the shooting was not clear.
Prosecutor Catherine Seppey said the shooter — who was not identified — knew several of the victims, but "he was not known for making threats." In 2005, he was admitted in a psychiatric hospital, she said.
Three of the victims, aged 32, 54 and 79, died at the scene, and the two injured men, aged 33 and 63, were taken to hospitals, Seppey said. The youngest of the victims, the 32-year-old woman and 33-year-old man, were a couple with two children.
"We have no words to express ourselves after an event like this," Christophe Germanier, head of the Conthey district where the shooting occurred, told a news conference.
"The year 2013 started badly. The day was sunny yesterday, but the evening was black," he said.
It wasn't immediately clear how the shooter obtained his weapon.
Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.