A man believed to be a defendant in a bankruptcy case on Thursday shot two people dead in a Milan court, including a judge, according to a prosecutor cited by Italian media.
The sound of shots sparked panic, with lawyers fleeing the scene while police officers searched for the gunman, who was thought to be still inside the building, prosecutor Giovanni Canzio said.
The man, believed to be a defendant in a bankruptcy case, had fled the scene on a scooter but was captured by police in Vimercate, a city some 25 kilometres outside Milan, Alfano said on Twitter.
Media identified the man as Claudio Giardiello and said he had opened fire on the third floor of the building. The news agency, ANSA quoted Canzio saying the slain judge was Fernando Ciampi.
"All of a sudden we heard at least three or four shots," lawyer Marcello Ilia told AFP outside the court.
"We tried to find out what was going on. There were suddenly lots of police officers who told us not to leave the room, they shut us in," he said.
"After a few minutes we came out. They told us someone in a suit and tie was armed and at large in the court," he said.
The Palace of Justice is in the historic centre in Milan, only a few streets away from the city's cathedral and shopping district.