Teenage girl shot dead, four wounded

A random shooting in central Russia has left a teenage girl dead and four others wounded. Katya Tolstikova died on the spot after being shot in the heart.

“My daughter was 13 years old. She died instantly and she had no chance to survive,” says Katya’s father.

The tragedy happened as Aleksandr Gorshkov was celebrating his 18th birthday with his friends at home. His mother says it was self-defence but police are investigating whether it may have been an act of drunken violence.

Police suspect that after drinking too much alcohol, he opened fire on a group of youngsters, injuring four and killing one. But his mother insists her son was sober. She claims the shooting was self-defence against a gang of violent youths.

“I didn’t have time to call the police. It was hell! They broke into the house and unleashed violence!” claims Natalia Gorshkova, the suspect’s mother.

Katya's grieving mother says she and her husband do not care about what triggered the violence.

“Everything that happened is his fault only. No matter how many times they keep saying it was a complete accident,” the victim’s mother insists.

An investigation is underway but residents of Bork, a small town in the Nizhny Novgorod region, are shocked by the incident. One neighbour of the suspect says it was out of character.

“He was always calm and quiet. I could never imagine this could ever happen,” she said.

If the suspect is charged and found guilty of murder, he could face a 20-year sentence.

Whether it was another alcohol-related quarrel or a carefully planned crime, the number of such armed attacks are rising across Russia.