Two people, including a nine-year-old girl, have been injured after an ex-police officer opened fire from his apartment in the Russian city of Ekaterinburg, on Sunday. A Special Forces unit was deployed to detain the shooter.
The incident occurred in a sleepy residential district of the country’s fourth largest city. Armed with a hunting rifle, the shooter appeared to randomly target people in the street from the 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.”
Videos published on social media shows the chaotic scenes that unfolded in the nearby streets as the gunman fired shots.
◼В Екатеринбурге задержан экс-полицейский, открывший стрельбу по прохожим со своего балкона.◼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
— Москва 24 (@infomoscow24) May 30, 2021
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 residents from the shooter’s apartment bloc. The ex-policeman still managed to critically injure a nine-year-old girl, as well as injuring a National Guard officer. Both were taken to the hospital.
The Special Forces units eventually decided to storm the apartment and The National Guard Task Force broke in using stun grenades. The shooter took aim 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 accused shot at least 44 bullets at random before the officers stormed his residence. He then fired 12 more at the officers but they all hit the ballistic shields used by the strike team.
The suspect was identified as 48-year-old Sergey Bolkov by local media. A local police department confirmed that he was once a transport police officer who was fired more than ten 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 the North Caucasus.
The shooter was “heavily drunk” when he opened fire, a regional Investigative Committee official told the media. Ren TV 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 the information is being verified.
The suspect will now be sent for psychiatric examination. He could face decades or even life in prison since he is charged with attempted murder of a minor and attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.
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