Death toll from Swiss shooting rises to four

ZURICH Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:51am EST

A police officer loads a packed chair in a car at a wood processing plant called Kronospan following a shooting in Menznau near Lucerne February 27, 2013. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

A police officer loads a packed chair in a car at a wood processing plant called Kronospan following a shooting in Menznau near Lucerne February 27, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Michael Buholzer

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ZURICH (Reuters) - A fourth person has died in hospital from injuries sustained in a shooting at a Swiss wood processing plant near the city of Lucerne, police said on Thursday.

A 42-year-old factory worker opened fire on co-workers with a Sphinx AT 380 pistol on Wednesday, killing two colleagues and wounding seven others. The gunman was also found dead at the scene but police have given no details on how he died.

Police said they were still investigating how the weapon came into the man's possession and the motive for the attack.

Among the victims was 26-year-old Benno Studer, a well-known athlete in the Swiss sport of Schwingen, also known as Swiss wrestling, the Swiss wrestling association said in a statement.

A police spokesman confirmed that the gunman originally came from Kosovo and had a Swiss passport.

Police have not released the gunman's name. But Swiss newspapers reported that the man, identified by newspaper Blick only as Viktor B., was a former kick boxer and father of three.

The country's second mass shooting this year has reignited debate about Swiss firearm laws that allow men to keep guns after their mandatory military service. A gunman killed three women and injured two men in January in the village of Daillon.

Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said it was clear that gun law legislation needed to be improved.

There is no national gun register in Switzerland, and some estimates indicate that at least one in every three of the country's 8 million inhabitants keeps a gun, many stored at home.

Citizens outside the military can apply for a permit to purchase up to three weapons from the age of 18 in a country where sharp shooting and hunting are popular sports.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Roger Atwood)

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