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Policeman killed as drunk opens fire from balcony


: Vita Lukashina  : HTB

An alcoholic was shot dead in southeast Moscow after he opened fire with a hunting rifle at passers-by from the balcony of his apartment. During the operation to arrest the offender, a policeman of a special-purpose unit was also killed. It transpired that before going on the shooting spree, the gunman had been on a weeklong drinking binge.

The tragic incident occurred in the early hours of Friday morning in the southeast of the capital. At about 0100 a man, living at 90, Graivoronovskaya Street, went out on to his balcony and opened fire at passers-by from his hunting rifle. According to the Main City Police Directorate, the first reports of the incident reached the police about 20 minutes later.

By the time the police arrived nobody had been hurt in the shooting. At first the police tried to establish contact with the gunman, but he bluntly refused to negotiate. So, in order to avoid victims, the building was cordoned off and when a special-purpose police unit arrived at 0300 it was decided that they would storm the flat.

When the elite policemen forced their way into the apartment, the gunman opened fire at them. One of the policemen Denis Desmianov was shot in the head. The policemen returned fire and the drunken gunman was killed in the shootout. The wounded policeman later died on the way to hospital.

The police have already conducted a preliminary investigation into the incident. As a spokesman for the Moscow City Police Directorate told Gazeta.Ru, 49-year-old Pavel Grishoutin had been suffering delirium tremours. Before going on the shooting spree he had been drinking for almost a week, his neighbours said.

His wife and children, who could no longer tolerate his behaviour, left him earlier on Thursday evening. They decided to stay overnight with friends. Their departure presumably triggered the violent fit, and Grishoutin took his gun and started firing indiscriminately at passers-by in the street.

A similar incident occurred recently in Dnepropetrovsk. Last Tuesday an elderly man opened fire from the window of his apartment. After lengthy talks, the officers of the Ukrainian special-purpose unit Berkut were forced to storm his apartment. The man was disarmed. Later it emerged that the man was terminally ill with cancer and was attempting to attract attention to his plight.

20 15:24


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