Hundreds of Italian police and soldiers in hunt for fugitive killer dubbed ‘Rambo’

18 Apr

The gunman is believed to have stolen the police officer’s pistol and spare clip of ammunition before fleeing once again.

He has not been since since. The manhunt involves more than 1,000 soldiers and police officers, including snipers equipped with night vision goggles and teams with sniffer dogs, who are combing a large area of scrubland and marsh.

They are checking isolated farmhouses and barns in the area, which they have designated the “red zone”, and warning locals not to approach Vaclavic.

He is believed to be carrying two automatic weapons, including the pistol stolen from the police officer, and up to 40 rounds of ammunition.

One search team found signs that Vaclavic had bedded down for a few hours in a patch of scrub, but he was long gone by the time they discovered the hiding place.

“He will try to remain in hiding until things have calmed down,” a former criminal accomplice of the fugitive told police, according to Corriere della Sera newspaper. “But in any case, he would rather die fighting than go to prison.”

People living in the area were concerned for their safety but not “hysterical”, said a local mayor.

“There is concern because this is a situation that has no precedent in the region – this is a huge manhunt,” said Dario Mantovani, the mayor of the town of Molinella.

Police are manning roadblocks in the area while soldiers patrol the woods and fields.

“We’ll keep this deployment of forces in the region until we find him,” said Gian Luca Galletti, the environment minister, who represented the government at the funeral of Mr Verri, the gamekeeper.

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