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The policeman accused of shooting dead a Lazio supporter last Sunday, is to be charged with murder.

An Italian prosecutor confirmed he would prepare a murder case against a policeman who shot dead Gabriele Sandri last weekend – an incident which triggered riots across Italy.

“It’s an unforgivable act because the gun is a last resort,” said chief prosecutor Ennio Di Cicco, adding there was no question that Spaccarotella fired at shoulder height.

Asked whether he would accuse Spaccarotella of murder instead of manslaughter, Di Cicco said: “It’s a given”.

The shooting sparked riots by hundreds of fans, who as well as forcing the cancellation of several matches, also set cars on fire and attacked the headquarters of the Italian League.

The policeman’s lawyers said they would prepare a robust defence.

“We’ll defend him tooth and nail,” said defence lawyer Francesco Molino.

Spaccarotella denies he deliberately aimed at Sandri. The shooting took place across a motorway after a scuffle between rival fans at a rest stop.

One of Sandri’s friends who was with him in a car at the time of the shooting told an Italian newspaper that he saw the policeman take aim at them with ‘both hands on the pistol’. Then he heard a dull thud.

“When I looked in the (car) mirror, I saw Gabriele spit up blood,” the friend, identified by La Repubblica as Marco, said.

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