Wrestler was among those killed in Swiss workplace shooting; attacker had Kosovo roots

  • Article by: DAVID RISING and NEBI QENA , Associated Press
  • Updated: February 28, 2013 - 5:46 AM
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Police stand in front of a wood-processing company in Menznau, central Switzerland, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, where several people were killed in a shooting. Police in Lucerne canton (state) said in a statement that the shooting occurred shortly after 9 a.m. at the premises of Kronospan, a company in the small town west of Lucerne. They said there were �several dead and several seriously injured people� and that rescue services were deployed and the scene sealed off.

Photo: Urs Flueeler, Associated Press - Ap

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BERLIN - A Swiss athlete was one of the victims of a shooting at a wood-processing company in central Switzerland, police said Thursday, as it emerged that the assailant was originally from Kosovo.

Benno Studer, 26, was among the three people who died in the Wednesday shooting in the small town of Menznau, according to Lucerne police spokesman Urs Wigger. The 42-year-old assailant was also among the dead, and seven other people were wounded.

Studer was a wrestler in the traditional sport of Schwingen, also known as Swiss wrestling — considered one of the country's national sports.

Wigger said he could not confirm media reports that the shooter, whose full name was not released, killed himself .

In Kosovo, authorities said the attacker was born there and that Swiss officials had been in touch with them about the case.

A Kosovo government official close to the contacts with Swiss authorities identified the shooter as Viktor Berisha, an ethnic Albanian. The Kosovo official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release details of the case since the shooter was a Swiss citizen.

In Berisha's home village of Nec, relatives began pouring into the family house late Wednesday to express condolences. Viktor's father, Mark declined to meet with reporters because he was shocked by the news, said a distant cousin, Pal Binishi.

The Nec area borders Albania and is home to most of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians who are Roman Catholic.

Many ethnic Albanians from Nec went to look for a better life in Switzerland during the violent breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s when Kosovo was brought into the strict control of Serbia's security apparatus led by then-president Slobodan Milosevic.

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Qena reported from Nec, Kosovo.

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