Italian cops praised after taking down Berlin terror suspect

Cristian Morio is one of two police officers being hailed in Friday's shootout in Italy.

Story highlights

  • Cristian Morio was injured in shootout with suspect Anis Amri
  • Officers stopped Amri as part of normal patrol operations, police say

(CNN)Two Italian police officers are being hailed as heroes for killing Europe's most wanted man.

Cristian Morio and Luca Scata, officers in Milan's Sesto San Giovanni district, shot and killed terror suspect Anis Amri early Friday after stopping him.
    The officers asked Amri to produce his identification papers. Instead, he pulled a .22-caliber gun out of a backpack and fired, police said.
    One of the officers returned fire, killing the suspect. Morio was injured in the shootout and is in the hospital. Scata was unharmed.
    On social media, praise poured into Scata's personal Facebook page.
    "You're a hero Luca," a Facebook friend named Alberto Di Mauro wrote. "Proud to have you as a colleague!!!"
    Friends of Luca Scata praised him on Facebook.
    The police also tweeted a photo of a uniform belonging to one of the officers with a bullet hole in the arm.
    Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti thanked the "exceptional" Italian police forces, saying they immediately identified and neutralized Amri.
    Milan police Chief Antonio De Isu said Scata and Morio weren't searching for Amri because no one had alerted the police to his presence in the city. They stopped him as part of normal patrol operations.
    Amri was the main suspect in Monday's attack on a busy Christmas market in Berlin. Authorities think Amri was behind the wheel when a truck deliberately plowed through a crowd, killing 12 people and leaving dozens injured.
    Italian news agency ANSA said Amri arrived in Milan by train from the French region of Savoy.
    The French anti-terrorism prosecutor's spokeswoman, Agnes Thibault Lecuivre, could not confirm the report, telling CNN the investigation was ongoing.
    If true, it would mean that Amri passed through at least two European borders after fleeing Berlin.