Italian Who Shot Migrant Home Invader Who was Pointing Gun at Him Investigated for Murder

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leschnyhan / iStock / Getty Images Plus

An Italian man who fatally shot a home invader who was pointing a gun at him has been placed under investigation for murder.

Tobacconist Sandro Fiorelli has been placed under investigation for murder after he surprised several criminals at his home in the town of Santopadre and fatally shot one of them, who was allegedly armed and pointing his firearm at him.

The man shot, 34-year-old Romanian migrant Mirel Joaca Bine, collapsed to the ground and the other three criminals fled the scene. They soon returned but were scared off when Fiorelli fired several more shots in the air, Il Giornale reports.

“I realised that there was someone upstairs and so I took the shotgun because I was scared… while I was walking around the house a man stood in front of me. He was holding a gun, he pointed it at me and at that point, I shot,” Fiorelli told Italian media.

Some details of the incident remain unclear, including whether the firearm brandished by the home invader was a real firearm or a blank gun. The Romanian’s three accomplices are said to be still on the run as of Tuesday.

Several members of populist Senator Matteo Salvini’s League (Lega) party reacted to the incident, defending the use of force by Fiorelli as a legitimate case of self-defence.

“If… armed people enter, well … then self-defence is legitimate,” League Senator Gianfranco Rufa said.

Francesca Gerardi, a League member of the Italian chamber of deputies, highlighted the reforms made by Matteo Salvini when he served as Interior Minister on self-defence.

In 2019, the Italian Senate passed a law liberalising self-defence that allowed Italians possessing legally acquired weapons to use them to protect their homes from burglars and other intruders.

“A thief comes into your house, company or store, and you defend yourself? It will be your right to do so, and the thug (and his relatives) will not be able to ask for a euro of compensation,” Salvini said at the time, adding: “Besides, you won’t end up on trial for years and you won’t pay your own pocket: the state will cover any legal expenses of those who defended themselves.”

Earlier this year, one of Salvini’s fellow party members was placed under house arrest after fatally shooting a Moroccan migrant outside a bar in the town of Voghera.

League councillor Massimo Adriatici claimed that his firearm had gone off after the Moroccan had assaulted him and forced him to the ground and claimed the incident was self-defence. Adriatici was allowed to go free from house arrest last week.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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