Gunmen killed the chief state prosecutor of this industrial city yesterday while he was walking his dog near his home, police said. The Associated Press quoted officials as saying the prosecutor, Bruno Caccia, was shot numerous times. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the slaying, police said.

The shooting came on the first day of national elections that are expected to lead to the creation of a center-left coalition led by the Christian Democrats.

Final results of the two-day balloting will not be known until this evening, but opinion polls conducted at the end of the campaign suggested that there will be no major upheavals, Washington Post correspondent Michael Dobbs reported from Rome. Interest centered on the performance of the Socialist Party, which provoked the election by withdrawing its support for Christian Democratic Prime Minister Amintore Fanfani, and the number of abstentions.

Voter turnout in Italy historically has been very high. This time, however, the leading political parties feared that it could drop below 90 percent for the first time in many years due to the dullness of the campaign and a general sense of disillusionment with politics.

Socialist Party leader Bettino Craxi, who is likely to hold the balance of power in the new Parliament, has proposed a three-year pact with the majority Christian Democrats and ruled out any alliance with the Communist Party.