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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 12, 2007

Cop who killed fan expresses his regret

The policeman who accidentally shot and killed a Lazio fan in Italy yesterday has spoken of his regret over the incident. The officer, who was trying to quell a fight between Lazio and Juventus fans at a motorway service station near Arezzo, confirmed the bullet was fired in error. The shot killed Gabriele Sandri, a 26-year-old disc jockey. 'I didn't look at anything, I didn't point my gun at anyone. I was at least 200 metres away, how could I have done that?' the unnamed officer told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. 'The first shot I fired was in the air and the second was fired when I was running, it was an accident. I know now, this is the end for me. 'I have destroyed two families, that of the man and mine.' The autopsy on Sandri will be carried out today while police chiefs have already opened an investigation. Arezzo assistant police commissioner Giuseppe Priore said: 'No-one intends to cover for the agent.' News of the shooting prompted violence on the terraces at the game between Atalanta and AC Milan while, later in the day, fans in Rome armed with batons and stones attacked one of the police units in the vicinity of the Stadio Olimpico before raiding the headquarters of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI). The CONI security guards, who were unarmed, had to barricade themselves inside the building while waiting for back-up. After one of the worst days of football-related violence in Italy, the president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) is preparing to announce major changes today. 'It is a day in which there will be major institutional steps taken,' announced president Giancarlo Abete on RAI radio. 'After meeting with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry for Youth Policies and Sports, there will be the chance for all components of football to meet.' Abete remained tight-lipped on any likely outcomes, saying it 'would be hazardous and incorrect' to speculate at this time, but already there are fears that Italian football may be suspended. However, Abete does not believe closing down the sport is the right answer. 'The way of resolving problems is not by eliminating the possibility of allowing football to live in a normal way,' he added. 'We cannot believe - and I refuse to do so - that the only way to respond to the problems in our society is simply by prohibition. 'That is not my way of interpreting civil needs.' Abete believes yesterday's events are in stark contrast to what happened when policeman Filippo Raciti was killed after violence broke out at the Sicilian derby match between Catania and Palermo nine months ago. He said: 'Catania was an organised battle against the police, but this case has nothing to link it to football. 'A football fan has died and this has provoked an attack against the institutions which are not in any way acceptable. 'All of this country should be grateful for what our police force is doing and you cannot demonise their work.'

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