Moscow police officer arrested for road rage killing

A Lieutenant Colonel of the Moscow police was detained on Wednesday on suspicion of manslaughter in connection with the death of a snow plow driver in late December. While in police custody he admitted shooting the man.

The suspect, 39-year-old Anatoly Maurin, is a specialist in a department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Investigation Committee with Prosecutor General's Office reported.

According to investigators, the suspect crashed his car into a snow plow in the early hours of December 26. In an argument that followed, the police officer shot the 60-year-old snow plow driver in the left knee with a rubber bullet. The injury lead to a major loss of blood and the driver died at the scene.

Maurin is charged with causation of major harm to health, leading to death due to negligence.

As the investigation continues, the level of restriction for the suspect is being discussed. If found guilty, the police officer could face up to 15 years in prison.

Oleg Yelnikov, police spokesperson, said in this case, an ordinary incident led to tragedy.

“It seems that the suspect didn’t want to kill the victim, but that’s a matter for the investigation," Yelnikov told RT. "All in all we have what we have – we believe he fired a shot resulting in the death of the snow plow driver.”

According to a spokesperson from the Interior Ministry, crimes by police officers increased by nearly 25% in 2008-2009.

One of the most outrages cases took place in April 2009, when police officer Denis Yevsyukov went on a shooting rampage in a grocery store, killing two people and injuring six others.

Another shooting occurred in October in the Siberian Republic of Tuva, when a police officer killed two other officers who pulled him over for drunk driving.

President Medvedev has demanded an internal review of the Interior Ministry and the Russian police. The goal is to reduce the force, increase officers’ wages and provide more social support, be it psychological or other, to try and curb the violence.