A Moscow police chief went on a killing spree early today after arguing with his wife at a celebration for his 32nd birthday.
Major Denis Yevsyukov killed three people and injured six at a supermarket after first returning home to change into his police uniform. Russian television broadcast CCTV footage from inside the supermarket showing Mr Yevsyukov calmly reloading his weapon as he walked down one of the food aisles.
Detectives said that he had been at a café with his wife and father-in-law when the row erupted, apparently after she had complained that he was spending too much time at work since being promoted to head the Tsaritsyno police district in southern Moscow in November last year.
A police spokesman said that Mr Yevsyukov killed the driver of a Chevrolet car who had dropped him off outside the 24-hour supermarket shortly after midnight. He then entered the store and began shooting at random.
A female cashier was shot in the face and died instantly while a male customer was killed after being hit in the chest. Six other people were wounded during the rampage, four of them seriously.
Staff alerted police, who were met with shots when they tried to arrest Mr Yevsyukov, the spokesman said. They managed to overpower him without further injury and he was taken to a psychiatric hospital for examination.
"He was firing vigorously, putting up resistance. It's a miracle none of the boys taking part in the arrest were injured," a police source told the Itar-Tass agency.
Vladimir Pronin, Moscow's police chief, told the Interfax news that Mr Yevsyukov had no memory of the crime. He said: "I talked to him at 4am. His eyes were as big as saucers and he didn't have a clue what had happened. He just wept. He was a great officer who was on a good career path – he obviously had some kind of psychotic attack."
Police suggested that there had been frequent rows recently between Mr Yevsyukov and his wife over his workload. One said: "The birthday party on Sunday turned into another row, possibly fuelled by Yevsyukov's staying away from home on Saturday because of his duties. He was drunk, but not heavily."
Others pointed to tensions in his southern police district, where two senior figures have been dismissed in the past week. One officer said: "There's information that he has been complaining to his friends about problems at work, that not everything was going smoothly in his capacity as chief."
All of the wounded were in their late teens or twenties, according to hospital staff. The gun Mr Yevsyukov used had been recorded as missing from a criminal inquiry in Chechnya since 2000, a spokesman for the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor-General's Office said.
Mr Yevsyukov had risen rapidly through the ranks since joining the force in 2005. He had solved dozens of serious crimes as a detective and had won promotion based on his exemplary work record.
In a bad day for the already poor reputation of Moscow's police, prosecutors accused five officers of operating as a criminal gang. The group were part of a squad charged with fighting organised crime.
They were accused of kidnapping a Tajik citizen to extort money from his relatives, before allegedly beating him to death. The officers also face charges of selling drugs and forging criminal evidence.
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