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22 May, 2009 11:20

Moscow kindergarten shooting, boy wounded

A Moscow kindergarten has reportedly been fired at intermittently over a two week period by an unknown man, after an attacker wounded a 10-year-old boy in the stomach with a pneumatic gun on May 9.

The reports are sketchy, with limited details available, and according to some media sources, the incidents have been deliberately hushed up by police.

An RT crew reporting from the scene says that local residents actually believe they know who the gunman may be, and are astonished that the police have not yet made an arrest. According to local residents, not only children are the attacker’s target:

“They found dogs, cats, birds who have been shot with the pneumatic rifle,” says RT’s Anastasia Haydulina.

Police have confirmed to RT a shoot-out on the 9th of May; however, they have still not confirmed any injury resulting from it.

Haydulina reports a feeling of resentment arising amongst the people of the sleepy residential area over the authorities seeming inactivity, especially in the light of all the local residents being aware of who the criminal may be.

According to RT’s sources, the boy who suffered a gun wound on the 9th of May is recovering well.

But what is certain is that parents are very worried with children not allowed to go to playgrounds near where the shootings have been alleged to occur. The father of one child has spoken of repeated incidents leading to concerns about childrens safety.

“I know police came on May 10, 11, 12 and 13. We know a boy was shot at. We don't let our kids go there. And kindergarten children are not allowed to go to playgrounds near there. They are taken further away.”

REN TV channel correspondent, Dmitry Tarkhov, who is familiar with events, has confirmed to RT that shootings in the locality, in Moscow’s southwest, started on May 9 and intermittently continued.

“It's always from the same point, so it must be someone shooting from the same window, aiming at two classrooms. One side of the building is covered with bullet holes,” Tarkhov noted, adding that police have established the type of weapon being used. ”It's probably the same person that shot at the boy on May the 9th. Police have established that a pneumatic weapon was used that day,”

A criminal investigation into the May 9 incident has been launched. A source at the Interior Ministry has told the RIA news agency that the boy – who currently remains in hospital – was wounded in a courtyard but not on the site of the kindergarten, and denying that further shots have been fired at the kindergarten on May 22.

Interfax, citing another source at the Internal Ministry, is reporting that a pool of suspects has already been identified, but, the “ballyhoo about the story” is slowing the investigation.

Interfax is also citing a source in Moscow’s medical circles as saying that two boys – aged 9 and 10 – have been wounded with a pneumatic gun whilst they were walking on the kindergarten grounds, adding that “One was wounded in his back, another one – in his shoulder,”

The Interfax source added that pneumatic rifle bullets had been found on a roof in the playground, and that it was possible that a mentally unbalanced individual was living in the area, firing indiscriminately with a pneumatic gun.