A 76-year-old lone gunman went on a shooting rampage in the offices of the shipping company that used to employ him in Athens, killing three people, including a female member of the company’s owning family, and then took his own life, Greek police said on Monday.
Security forces cordoned off an area around European Navigation, a Karnessis family-controlled owner of product carriers, in the seaside suburb of Glyfada, suggesting this was the scene of the crime.
The country’s special forces stormed the building at about 10.15am local time (08:15 GMT) and found three bodies on the mezzanine and an upper floor, a police spokeswoman told reporters.
The body of the perpetrator — an Egyptian citizen — was later discovered with a wound to his head in the basement, next to the shotgun he was armed with. The man is believed to have died by suicide.
Police found two unharmed employees hidden in a closet.
The identity of the victims and the position of the gunman with the company has not been officially confirmed.
News website Proto Thema report that the dead include Maria Karnessis, sister of principal Spyros Karnessis, and the company’s managing director Antonios Vlassakis.
Phones were left unanswered at European Navigation so TradeWinds could not independently confirm this.
According to data in the UK Companies House, Maria Karnessis was 76 years old. Vlassakis was Spyros Karnessis's brother-in-law as a husband to a second sister, Despina.
News website Skai reported that the perpetrator used to work as a caretaker at the ship owner’s holiday home but had recently lost his job. The police spokeswoman indirectly corroborated this, saying the gunman used to work for the shipping company’s family.
“I’ve come to settle my accounts,” the perpetrator said when breaking into the building, state broadcaster ERT said, citing eyewitnesses.
Other media reports said, citing eyewitnesses, that the gunman was after particular individuals in the company.
The intruder still had access to the building and entered through the parking space under the pretext that he had come to do some cleaning, media reported.
European Navigation and its European Product Carriers unit are listed with a fleet of 10 product carriers.