An Italian man accused of shooting a man during an argument in Xemxija has been arrested and charged, and just in time too, as he had already packed his bags to flee the country.
Police were on the lookout for 39-year-old shop owner Damiano Alfio Rannisi Torrisi, after he allegedly shot Ivan Galea on 12th December during an argument on said to have been related to money and drugs. Torrisi went into hiding for a month but, acting on a tip off, the police raided an apartment in Triq il-Kahli, Mellieha, on Saturday evening and found him hiding in the garden.
Torrisi was charged in court with the attempted murder of Galea and a second man Ronald Mallia, as well as with injuring Galea, holding him against his will, extortion and stealing a vehicle. When asked for his address, the man said he could not remember it. He pleaded not guilty and was kept under arrest.
Police investigations showed that Torrisi and Mallia had picked up Ivan Galea in Xemxija and continued driving towards the Burmarrad Industrial Zone. Along the way, an argument erupted, probably involving money and drug trafficking, that ended with one of the men pulling out a shotgun and shooting in the direction of the other men, with one of them being hit by the bullets, police said.