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
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0102 GMT (0902 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
With so many new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 0429 GMT (1229 HKT)
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1921 GMT (0321 HKT)
The lives of everyone close to Oscar Pistorius and the girl he killed are changed forever, his siblings say.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1033 GMT (1833 HKT)
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
Serbia and Albania try to play but the major game is called off after a drone flying a political flag enters the stadium.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
George Clooney's new wife, is now Amal Clooney, raising the issue of married names.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1757 GMT (0157 HKT)
The mysterious unmanned X-37B space plane returns to Earth after more than two years in space. But the U.S. Air force isn't saying much.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT