Member of Vatican police dies in what appears to be suicide

September 3, 2007 14:42


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A member of the Vatican's police corps died Monday from gunshot wounds in what the Vatican described as an apparent suicide. It was the first report of an apparent suicide among Vatican law enforcement officials since 1998, when a 23-year-old Swiss guard allegedly killed a commander, the commander's wife and then himself over being denied a medal. Alessandro Benedetti, 25, was found "in very serious condition" in the bathroom of the police barracks, inside Vatican City, on Monday morning, said a Vatican statement. He was taken to the nearby Santo Spirito hospital, where he died shortly thereafter, said the statement. "Early clues lead (us) to believe that the young man wanted to kill himself," Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said in a statement. He added that a note found on the site was being examined by Vatican investigators, and that an Italian doctor would perform an autopsy. The statement made no mention of any motives.

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