Two people were killed and four were injured when a gunman opened fire at a public services office in Moscow on Tuesday, city authorities said.
“Two people have been killed as a result of the shooting by an unknown person,” the mayor of the Russian capital Sergei Sobyanin said on Twitter.
The Russian Interior Ministry said the attacker was a 45-year-old Moscow resident and had been taken to a police station.
Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova said two employees of the center – “an administrator and a guard” – were killed in the shooting.
She said four people were injured, including a 10-year-old girl.
The child was in “serious” condition and had been taken to a children’s hospital. Three injured adults were operated on, Rakova said in a statement to Telegram.
The incident took place at a multi-purpose government office dealing with a variety of administrative issues in southeastern Moscow.
Rakova said staff and visitors to the Ryazansky Public Offices Center were evacuated “immediately” when the shooting started around 3:00 PM Moscow time (1200 GMT).
In a statement, Russia’s interior ministry said the man entered the center “and started shooting at civilians, then tried to hide.”
A law enforcement officer on the scene “managed to capture and neutralize the attacker,” the ministry said, citing its representative Irina Volk.
Several agencies also reported that the attacker was a former soldier.
The shooter’s identity and motives have not yet been released.
The Russian Commission of Inquiry, which investigates major crimes, has launched a criminal investigation into the shooting.
Killed ‘on the spot’
A statement said a man had entered a room in the government-owned building and “opened fire with a firearm on the people who were in the room”.
“Two people were killed at the scene from their injuries,” it said.
The injured, including the child, received medical attention, the commission added.
The shooter will undergo a psychiatric evaluation in the meantime.
Mass shootings in Russia are rare, but the country was rocked by two separate tragic massacres this year — one at a school, another at a university — this year, prompting lawmakers to tighten laws governing gun access.
Authorities blame foreign influence for past school shootings, saying young Russians have been subjected to similar attacks online and on television in the US and elsewhere.
In a high-profile 2019 public shooting, a gunman opened fire near the FSB’s domestic intelligence headquarters in central Moscow, killing an officer and injuring five people.
Other high-profile shootings have taken place in the Russian military.
In November 2020, a 20-year-old soldier killed three fellow soldiers at a military base near the town of Voronezh south of Moscow.
In a similar attack in 2019, a young recruit killed eight soldiers.
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