Six people were wounded in the shooting spree | Credit: DW
Six people were wounded in the shooting spree | Credit: DW

The foreign community in the central Italian town of Macerata is scared after Luca Traini, 28, went on a drive-by shooting rampage on Saturday, allegedly targeting African migrants. Six people were wounded.

Migrants in Macerata "are scared" after 28-year-old Luca Traini on Saturday went on a shooting rampage targeting African migrants in what investigators say was a planned attack motivated by racial hatred. 

Traini is a far-right extremist who is believed to have a "fascist and neo-Nazi" background, said investigative sources. The attack has sparked fear in the local foreign community, several NGOs, associations and migrants have reported. 

Hiding after the rampage 

Mustapha, who is from Senegal, said he is scared "because it could happen again."  "I fled Senegal when I was 17 but I had never seen anything like this, even in Africa''.

He is sitting at a canteen belonging to the Catholic charity Caritas with some friends including Musa, who is from Gambia, Frank, who migrated from Ghana, and Suleyman, a Senegalese national. The migrants struggle to make ends meet and go to the Caritas canteen to eat a plate of pasta hoping to find people there to help and protect them. Some of the migrants at the canteen were out when the rampage occurred.

"I was out taking a walk," said Musa. "At one point I met two Italian youths who told me 'you have to hide because, if they see a black person, they will shoot you.' I fled, then they called me from the association and I came back here." 

Frank has been living in Italy for the past four years. He fled Ghana and reached Malta by boat. Later he traveled onward to Italy. "I am certainly afraid," he said. "I had never seen anything like this, nobody here ever told me anything. There are bad blacks and bad whites, he said with a half smile. We are foreigners and want to live in peace. We must stay calm and try to understand others." 

Facing violence after fleeing violence 

Wilson, 21, a Ghanaian migrant who was wounded in the attack, said he could not believe it when he was warned that someone was shooting. He said that he had just enough time to say, ''are people running away from a shooting? What gunshots? We are in Europe!," when he was allegedly hit by Luca Traini. 

Wilson was walking out of a barber shop and then found himself being taken to hospital. A bullet entered his chest but did not damage any of his vital organs. His life is not in danger, although he is one of the most seriously wounded out of the six people, all Africans, who were injured in Macerata. 

Overall the six migrants, who were all part of programs for asylum seekers or of first reception, are doing relatively well. Two have left the hospital, while Jennifer, who has a shoulder wound, will need surgery. 

"We were a large group at a bus stop at the railway station," she said. "I survived because a person who was with me pushed me and made me fall." None of the migrants feels like talking about their home countries and how they arrived in Italy. Fear is palpable. According to a local NGOs, migrants are "scared of walking around." "They have been traumatized twice, because they fled violence and war and thought they had found shelter," they said. 

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