Chinese Embassy pressures Italy to protect immigrants after killings

"Criminal beasts" operating in Rome "must be stopped at all costs," says Mayor Gianni Alemanno.

Story highlights

  • A Chinese immigrant and his 9-month-old daughter die in a robbery
  • The Chinese Embassy says it is "shocked and alarmed"
  • Report: Italian authorities vow to deploy more officers to combat wave of slayings
Saying it was "shocked and alarmed" after a Chinese man and infant were killed in a botched robbery in Rome, the Chinese Embassy urged Italian authorities to protect Chinese citizens in Italy.
Zhou Zheng, 31, and his 9-month-old daughter were killed Wednesday, according to Italy's ANSA news agency. Two thieves demanded 5,000 euros (about $6,360) from his business's earnings as he was returning home with his family, according to the report.
A bullet passed through the baby's head and struck Zhou in the heart, autopsy results said, according to ANSA.
The Chinese Embassy in Rome issued a statement saying it was "shocked and alarmed for the tragedy in Rome, and it firmly condemns the killers for their atrocity and inhumane violence."
The embassy asked Italian authorities to "apply all the necessary measures" to find the killers and bring them to justice.
"We also ask that Italy takes all the necessary measures to guard the personal and patrimonial security of the Chinese citizens in Italy," the statement said.
The killings come amid a wave of unrelated slayings in Rome, ANSA reported.
"Rome's patience and that of her citizens is finished," Mayor Gianni Alemanno said, according to the news agency. "There are criminal beasts that are operating in our city that must be stopped at all costs."
About 130 new police officers were to arrive in Rome in Friday, authorities told ANSA. By the end of January, a contingent of 400 officers is to be in place.