Skip to main content

Police: 4th person dead in Switzerland factory shooting

By Laura Smith-Spark and Mark Morgenstein, CNN
February 28, 2013 -- Updated 1515 GMT (2315 HKT)
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
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0023 GMT (0823 HKT)
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1900 GMT (0300 HKT)
A 9-year-old girl learning to fire a submachine gun accidentally killed her instructor at a shooting range, according to Arizona authorities.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 1255 GMT (2055 HKT)
ISIS has made surprise gains in Iraq and Syria in recent months, but may begin to suffer setbacks on the battlefield.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
The fear of Russian invasion is receding but peace may still be tricky to find.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1228 GMT (2028 HKT)
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0815 GMT (1615 HKT)
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1644 GMT (0044 HKT)
The signs exist that indicate U.S. airstrikes into Syria are on the way.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
The mother of a hostage freed after two years captivity says it's not time to party.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0946 GMT (1746 HKT)
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0600 GMT (1400 HKT)
"I just love it when I get milk-to-dark converts," says Kerrin Rousset, before she leads a small cocoa-hungry crowd through Zurich's Old Town.
ADVERTISEMENT