Italian police have identified and arrested a 16-year-old boy in connection with an alleged pepper spray attack that led to a deadly stampede at a disco early Saturday morning that killed six people including five teens. The suspect, now in custody, was identified on surveillance video wearing a gas mask as he escaped the venue. Local media report that he is the son of one of the club's owners. Survivors also told investigators that he dispersed a pepper spray like substance from a small spray can he held above the crowd shortly before 1 a.m., just as Italian trap artist Sfera Ebbasta was about to perform his DJ set. Police have speculated that the possible motive was to steal a neck chain from around the neck of a teenager standing near him. The teen told investigators that the suspect grabbed the chain immediately after he sprayed the stinging substance. Italian police are also investigating negligence by the club's owners for selling 680 tickets and comping an additional 500 for the event, even though the maximum capacity for the venue is just 460 people, according to updated information by police. Earlier reports suggested that the capacity was 870. Head of the local police Cristian Carrozza said on Sunday that they would be investigating reports that one of the emergency doors was blocked. He said they would also check into whether the establishment had passed recent safety and security checks. The suspect will face a juvenile court judge on Monday morning. A secondary manslaughter investigation into the club management negligence is also underway.
— Barbie Latza Nadeau