Italian journalist dies after being shot in Strasbourg Christmas market attack

Italian reporter Antonio Megalizzi and his colleague Barto Pedro Orent-Niedzielski have died of their injuries, bringing the number of people killed in the attack to five.

Italian journalist dies after being shot in Strasbourg Christmas market attack
Passers-by lay tributes to victims of the Strasbourg Christmas market attack. Photo: Patrick Herzog/AFP

Antonio Megalizzi, a 29-year-old radio reporter from Trento in northern Italy, died on Friday, foreign ministry sources and his employers have confirmed. 

He had been in a coma for several days after taking a bullet to the head.

His friend and colleague, Polish national Barto Pedro Orent-Niedzielski, known as Bartek, who was with Megalizzi at the time of the attack, died of his injuries yesterday.

Orent-Niedzielski's death was announced in on Facebook by his brother who wrote: “My brother has just left us. Thank you for your love and for the strength you gave him.”

They were among the 13 people wounded when a lone gunman opened fire on Strasbourg's famous Christmas market on Tuesday evening.

Their deaths bring the total number killed in the attack to five.

The two journalists had travelled to the French city to report on the latest session of the European Parliament for Europhonica, a radio station specialised in EU parliamentary news.

“This news saddens me a great deal,” Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte told a news conference following this week's European summit.

Hundreds of people took part in a tribute to the victims in Strasbourg on Sunday. Photo: Sebastian Bozon/AFP

Megalizzi and Bartek had gone to the market with Clara Rita Stevanato and Caterina Moser, two university students from Paris, after a day working at the European Parliament.

They were under the Corbeau bridge when the killer started firing on the crowd. The women managed to escape, Repubblica reports.

Orent-Niedzielski and Megalizzi had tried to stop the gunman from entering a bar during the assault, a close friend told AFP.

Hundreds mourned the victims on the streets of Stasrbourg yesterday, and tributes to the two young reporters have been pouring in on social media.

The gunman was shot dead by French police on Thursday. He has been identified as Cherif Chekatt, a 29-year-old local who was on a watchlist of religious extremists.

He is reported to have shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) as he opened fire, before escaping the scene in a taxi.