Ex-owner of Moscow factory at large after fatal shooting in quarrel over lost business
The former owner of a confectionary factory in southeastern Moscow opened fire following a dispute with the current management, the Investigative Committee said in a statement on Wednesday. The assailant fatally wounded the factory’s guard and at least two more people were reportedly injured. No negotiations have taken place with the the shooter so far, according to the Moscow police. Initial reports suggested that the gunman had taken hostages, but the police later denied it.
“Police sources are not giving any concrete information, but we do know that some people are still inside, they have barricaded themselves inside and they are hiding out of danger,” RT correspondent Madina Kochenova reported from the scene.
The gunman was not found on the sweet factory’s premises during the search, and consequently the search area has been extended to cover the whole city, police said. It emerged that the shooter had left the site by the time law enforcement sealed off and entered the factory, according to police. He fled without his Saiga semi-automatic rifle, with which the victim had been shot
Speaking to RT, a relative of the alleged assailant described the man as an emotional and active person, who has always been creative. The man studied at Moscow State University and built the factory from scratch, and has always supported different staff activities such as hiking and sports events.
“Despite his impulsive character, he has not been aggressive,” the relative said. She rejected the possibility that he could take hostages or kill a man.
The police have opened a criminal case against the gunman, who is to be charged with murder and firearms offences. Radio station Business FM managed to reach the alleged assailant, Ivan Averyanov, by phone. Averyanov says he was deprived of the factory and he had been struggling to get it back for four years. The shooter, who is surrounded by police, has reportedly barricaded himself in and is threatening to “fight to the end.”
Averyanov claimed there had been an attempted attack on him that morning, and that “a gang” which comprised “two prosecutors” deprived him of his business.
“My company was taken away based on forged documents; I was robbed blind. I have eight children,” Averyanov said. “You know, I have been fighting for four years. They repurchase everything, falsify documents, act through the court using fake documents.”
The Moscow branch of the Federal Bailiff Service said its staff were at the factory to recover debts of a business tenant, Interfax reports. When the bailiffs heard the shooting, they barricaded themselves inside the factory, and no one was injured, in contrast with earlier reports from the Mash news Telegram channel.