Two people including a nine-year-old girl have been injured as an ex-police officer opened fire from his apartment in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg. A Special Forces unit was deployed to detain the shooter.
On Sunday evening, the gunman opened fire in one of the sleepy residential districts of Yekaterinburg. The shooter armed with a hunting rifle seemed to randomly target people in the street from a balcony of his apartment, according to local media.
One witness revealed how he was driving by with his friends when they felt something was wrong and left the car only to see “a man opening fire from his hunting rifle.” The men then rushed to their car and sought to drive away when the gunman started shooting at them. “The bullets were hitting the road right behind our car,” the witness said, adding that he was “in shock.”
Some videos published on the social media show the chaotic scenes that unfolded in the nearby streets as the gunman opened fire.
◼В Екатеринбурге задержан экс-полицейский, открывший стрельбу по прохожим со своего балкона.— Москва 24 (@infomoscow24) May 30, 2021
◼Стрелявший был сильно пьян. При задержании оказал вооружённое сопротивление — ТАСС. Сообщается, что он служил в Чечне. Его направят на психиатрическую экспертизу. pic.twitter.com/PZTdmgPT44
A police Special Forces unit and a rapid deployment task force of the Russian National Guard were immediately deployed to the scene. They cordoned off the area and evacuated the residents from the shooter’s apartment bloc. The gunman still managed to critically injure a nine-year-old girl as well as to injure a National Guard officer. Both were transported to a hospital.
The Special Forces units eventually decided to storm the gunman’s apartment. The National Guard Task Force broke into the flat using stun grenades. The shooter struck back by opening fire at the officers but no one was injured during the operation and the Special Forces unit managed to arrest the gunman, the National Guard confirmed.
The gunman shot at least 44 bullets at random before the law enforcement officers stormed his residence. He then shot 12 more at the officers but they all hit ballistic shields used by the strike team.
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The suspect, 48, was identified as Sergey Bolkov by some local media. A local police department confirmed he was once a transport police officer, who was fired more than 10 years ago. Since that time, he was employed at a private security company. A security source told RT that he was also a veteran, who once fought against extremists in North Caucasus.
The shooter was “heavily drunk” when he opened fire, a regional Investigative Committee official told the media. Russia’s Ren TV channel also reported that he sent a message to some of his acquaintances, telling them he was going to “shoot everyone because he got tired of life.” The police said that his information is being “verified.”
The suspect will now be sent for psychiatric examination. He can now face a decades-long imprisonment or even a life-long one since he has been charged with an attempted murder of a minor as well as an attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.
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