9 shot dead as man goes on drunken rampage in Russian village

9 shot dead as man goes on drunken rampage in Russian village
Nine people were killed in a central Russia village when a man went on a shooting spree on his drinking companions. One of the victims was reportedly forced to dig a grave for herself before being murdered.

A 45-year old Moscow resident, whose name has not yet been revealed, was detained on suspicion of killing nine people overnight: four women and five men, the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement. The rampage occurred in Tver Region, in the village of Redkino, 150km northwest of Moscow.

It all apparently started as a Saturday night drinking binge at a summer dacha. The suspect had been drinking along with his victims before “a row” sparked off, the statement reads. He then left and returned with a hunting rifle, opening fire on his companions.

The brawl was triggered when the suspect was accused of not having served in the army, according to a witness cited by the media.

The man allegedly made his last victim dig her own grave, TASS news agency reports, citing sources familiar with the investigation. The victim, however, refused and was shot dead. Her body was later found in a car trunk.

The gunman, who worked as an electrician, had been invited by his neighbors to help in the household, according to RIA Novosti, quoting police sources.

One of the village residents has also described the suspect as a local electrician and said he was flaunting his rifle, adding he was “tipsy and tense,” the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reports.

The man legally possessed the weapon, though he violated the gun storage rules, the Russian National Guard press service told RIA Novosti.

The suspect shot the victims at close range, leaving no chance of survival, the agency quotes local police spokesman Vadim Levshin as saying.

A 21-year-old woman managed to survive the rampage and called the police, according to the spokesman. The gunman did not notice her while she was hiding under a blanket. The woman is currently receiving psychological treatment.

Police detained the suspect, who did not attempt to hide, at the scene. The Investigative Committee has opened a criminal investigation into the incident.