Three people have been killed and two more injured after a gunman opened fire in the Swiss village of Dailon.

Officers shot and wounded the suspect after he threatened to begin firing at police in the village, which is situated 60 miles (100km) east of Geneva in the southern state of Valais.

No police officers were injured and the suspect, who had reportedly been drinking heavily and brandishing an assault rifle, has since been arrested.

Three people died at the scene and two more were injured and taken to hospital. The extent of the injuries are not known, nor are the motives of the gunman.

Police spokesman Jean-Marie Bornet told Swiss radio when officers arrived at the scene that "the shooter pointed his weapon at our colleagues, so they had to open fire to neutralise him, to avoid being injured themselves."

Swiss media report the suspect is a 30-year-old man who lived in the village and one of the people killed in the shooting was a woman in her 80s.

Eyewitness Marie-Paule Udry told Swiss website 20Minutes the gunman had been drinking prior to the shooting. She said: "He had been in the Channe d'Or earlier in the evening. He had drunk a lot."

A second eyewitness, Nathalie Frizzi, told local daily Le Nouvelliste: "There were people running around near the chapel.

"At first I didn't realise what was going on. I thought children were shooting at cats and I called out for them to stop. I am still shocked that I could have been hit by a bullet."

There are an estimated 2-4 million guns in circulation in Switzerland, a country with a population of just eight million. The exact figure is not known as there is there is no national firearms register.

Despite the high number of firearms, shootings are relatively rare in the country, with government figures showing there were around 0.5 gun homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2010.

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