Rome

Policeman in danger of paralysis 'sedated, on ventilator'

Officer shot by gunman as Letta govt sworn in

Policeman in danger of paralysis 'sedated, on ventilator'

Rome, April 29 - An Italian policemen who risks paralysis after being shot by a gunman on Sunday while Premier Enrico Letta's government was being sworn is in a stable condition, according to medical report on Monday. ''The patient remains sedated, intubated and on mechanical ventilation,'' read a medical bulletin from the Rome hospital where he is being treated, Umberto I. Giuseppe Giangrande, a 50-year-old member of the Carabinieri police force, suffered damage to his spinal cord after being shot in the neck. The bulletin said it was not yet possible to gauge whether Giangrande has lost the ability to move his body. Another policemen was also shot and suffered less serious leg injuries in the incident that took place near to the Italian House and the premier's office in central Rome. Prosecutors said Luigi Preiti, a 49-year-old from the southern town of Rosarno, confessed to wanting to shoot politicians he blamed for his personal plight, after the loss of his job and the breakdown of his marriage. ''He did wrong. But we all love him,'' said Preiti's 11-year-old son in a brief interview with journalists outside his mother's home in the town of Predosa. The gunman is thought to have planned the attack several weeks ago and to have worked alone. Nevertheless, the incident has been interpreted as a sign of the desperation many in Italy are experiencing as the country struggles to cope with its longest recession in 20 years. Preiti is not suffering from mental illness, according to Rome prosecutors, who said Monday they would not ask for a psychiatric report on a man they described as an "exhibitionist". According to media reports, Preiti had a problem with gambling on video-poker slot machines.

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