Europe

Slaying of thief fuels Italy's debate on legitimate defense

Restaurant owner Mario Cattaneo shows the bruise on his arm which according to one version he has given he says he received when grabbed on the arm by a thief after the thief broke into his restaurant in the middle of the night Friday, in his restaurant's kitchen in Casaletto Lodigiano near Lodi in northern Italy, Sunday, 12 March 2017. Italian politicians from the far right and former Premier Silvio Berlusconi's center-right part are demanding a new law on legitimate defense to protect law-abiding citizens after Cattaneo is being investigated for murder for allegedly fatally shooting the thief in the back. (Flavia Mazza/ANSA via AP)

Restaurant owner Mario Cattaneo shows the bruise on his arm which according to one version he has given he says he received when grabbed on the arm by a thief after the thief broke into his restaurant in the middle of the night Friday, in his restaurant's kitchen in Casaletto Lodigiano near Lodi in northern Italy, Sunday, 12 March 2017. Italian politicians from the far right and former Premier Silvio Berlusconi's center-right part are demanding a new law on legitimate defense to protect law-abiding citizens after Cattaneo is being investigated for murder for allegedly fatally shooting the thief in the back. (Flavia Mazza/ANSA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Italian opposition politicians from the far right and former Premier Silvio Berlusconi's center-right party are demanding a new law on legitimate defense to protect law-abiding citizens.

The request comes after a restaurant owner is being investigated for murder for allegedly shooting a thief in the back after a middle-of-the night break-in at the trattoria.

The owner and his family live above the restaurant in Gugnano, near Lodi, northern Italy. When noise awakened the family early Friday, the restaurateur grabbed a loaded hunting rifle and, according to the man and his adult son, fired toward a courtyard through a rear-entrance barricade erected by the thieves.

The victim, a Romanian, was fatally shot near the back shoulder blade. The other thieves escaped.

Opposition politicians are siding with the restaurateur.