Skip to main content

Police: 4th person dead in Switzerland factory shooting

By Laura Smith-Spark and Mark Morgenstein, CNN
updated 10:15 AM EST, Thu February 28, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: A fourth person has died as a result of a shooting at a Swiss wood company
  • NEW: The weapon used was not military-issued, and it's unclear if it was legally owned
  • NEW: Gunfire wounded six other people at the factory
  • The company, which makes wood products, employs 350 people at the crime scene

Are you there? Send us your photos and videos, but please stay safe.

(CNN) -- A fourth person has died, a day after a lumber plant employee shot several people at his company's factory near Lucerne, Switzerland.

The shooter killed himself and two other people Wednesday, and one of seven other people wounded in the incident died Thursday morning, according to Lucerne county police spokesman Urs Wigger.

Police have not yet named any of the victims, and they had no update Thursday on how the other six people were faring.

The murder weapon was a Sphinx AT-380 handgun -- not a military-issued weapon -- Wigger said, adding that police were investigating how the shooter got the gun, and whether he had it legally.

The gunman, 42, was a long-time employee of Kronospan, a wood panel manufacturer in the village of Menznau, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) outside Lucerne, police said.

The factory employs 350 people, according to a Lucerne-based newspaper.

It's unclear why the gunman opened fire as employees were taking a morning break.

Local media reports suggest the plant has had to cut production because of a reduction in the timber harvest.

A statement posted in five languages on Kronospan's Swiss website on Wednesday read: "It is with tremendous sadness that we must confirm that there has been a shooting incident at our factory this morning, resulting in multiple serious injuries and fatalities. The shock and grief at Kronospan is not possible to put into words."

The posting also included a hotline number for employees. That hotline has been "widely used," according to police.

Representatives for the company's U.S. and UK branches said they had limited information about what happened and offered their condolences.

"It's a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts are with the families of the people who have lost their lives," the UK spokesman said.

"We, too, are deeply saddened by this tragic event, and our thoughts are with our Swiss colleagues and the families of those involved," said the U.S. spokeswoman.

The Menznau Kronospan factory, which makes wood products under the brand name Kronoswiss, is one of 10 plants in seven countries run by the Swiss Krono Group, according to the company's website.

Its U.S. subsidiary, Kronotex USA, says on its website that the company has been a family business since its inception in 1897 in Austria, and its total annual sales exceed $1 billion.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen, Saskya Vandoorne and Carol Jordan contributed to this report. CNN's Laura Spark-Smith wrote from London, and Mark Morgenstein and Ben Brumfield wrote from Atlanta.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 10:20 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
updated 8:22 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
updated 5:34 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT