A 24-year-old American studying in Florence was detained Thursday for questioning in the death of an Italian man, news reports said.

Florence police picked up the American and brought him to the hospital because he was covered in blood and seemed confused, the ANSA and Apcom news agencies reported. He was later taken to the police station for questioning.

Near where the American was detained, police discovered the body of 62-year-old Riccardo Nistri in a ground-floor storefront. Citing investigators, ANSA said Nistri's relatives alerted police to his disappearance after they called his cell phone and a foreigner answered.

ANSA said the American had left his hotel Wednesday night in a confused state shouting that people wanted to kill him. ANSA said he was believed to have been in Florence studying.

A receptionist at the hotel, the Grand Hotel Mediterraneo, confirmed that several groups of students were staying at the hotel but said she only knew of the incident from the media.

La Repubblica newspaper said in its online Florence edition that Nistri had two deep cuts in his neck, and that the American also was wounded in the neck.

The news reports didn't give the American's name. Calls to Florence police were not returned. The U.S. Embassy said its consulate in Florence was aware of the report and was following up, but declined to provide more information citing privacy rules.