A drunken gunman has reportedly opened fire in a village in Switzerland, killing three people and injuring two others, according to Swiss police.
The attack occurred in the picturesque village of Daillon, Valais, in central Switzerland at around 9pm. The suspect, who threatened police as they arrived on the scene, was shot and wounded by officers.
Swiss media said the man was a 30-year-old local resident. The village has now been cordoned off while police investigate.
Police patrol in the village of Daillon after a shooting, in Switzerland
Police spokesman Jean-Marie Bornet said in a statement: "There is incomprehension and shock here in Valais.
"The toll is very, very heavy. It's a sombre start to the year for the canton."
"It wasn't easy to intervene in the darkness. The gunman turned his weapon on the officers, who had to shoot him in order not to be injured themselves."
Local paper Le Nouvelliste reported three women aged 32, 54 and 79 were killed, and two men aged 33 and 64 were injured. One of the women killed was the mother of young children, the newspaper said.
The paper said shots were fired from the suspect's apartment, directly towards an alleyway and neighbouring windows.
The suspect was "known to the police", the paper said.
Nathalie Frizzi who lives 20 meters from the site of the shooting, told Le Nouvelliste she and her friends went walking their dog when they heard what they first thought to be firecrackers .
"People were running everywhere. I did not realize what was happening. I approached, believing it was kids who were shooting cat and I shouted to stop.
"It was dark, I did not recognise the person they arrested."
The village of Daillon after it was closed to the press
The crime is particularly shocking because of the rarity of gun attacks in Switzerland, despite the high ownership of guns and the popularity of shooting as a sport. The country has around three million guns in circulation.
Swiss men, all of whom must do national service, are trained to use guns.
The gun lobby in the United States regularly points to Switzerland as evidence that more guns leads to less crime and a better quality of life. Only the US and Yemen have more guns per capita.