Suspected gunman caught
Police yesterday announced the capture of a gunman suspected to have killed six people in an attack in a busy town center, after a massive manhunt lasting more than 24 hours. Convicted criminal Sergei Pomazun, 31, was shown on TV pinned down by police who found him trying to board a freight train in the city of Belgorod, close to the Ukrainian border, where the shootings took place. “I didn’t shoot children. I was shooting at hell,” the wild-eyed man said in comments broadcast on the Rossiya 1 channel. He is believed to be the gunman who opened fire in a hunting store on Monday before going outside and shooting passersby, including two girls aged 14 and 16, who both died, before fleeing in a car. Investigators said that Pomazun took a hunting rifle belonging to his father. He shot dead three staff in a hunting store, before taking at least one more gun from the store and shooting passersby who witnessed his getaway in his father’s BMW car. Pomazun seriously wounded one policeman with a knife during his capture late on Tuesday.
Navalny’s trial reopens
A court yesterday reopened the trial on embezzlement charges of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who may face up to a decade in jail if convicted, but says the accusations were drawn up by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The prosecution accuses the 36-year-old, who has emerged as the most charismatic figure in the anti-Putin protest movement, of causing a loss of US$500,000 to a regional government while acting as an advisor in a timber deal. The trial, held about 900km from Moscow in the northern city of Kirov, opened last week, but was quickly adjourned after Navalny’s defense said they needed more time to study the case.
Manhunt victims get millions
Two women hurt during a manhunt for a gunman who staged a deadly revenge plot against Los Angeles police have reached a US$4.2 million settlement, authorities said on Tuesday. On Feb. 7, as the hunt was on for former police officer Christopher Dorner in California, Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother Emma Hernandez, 71, were delivering newspapers. Police shot at their blue Toyota Tacoma, in what turned out to be a major mistake — the women had the same vehicle as the suspect. Hernandez was shot twice, while Carranza was wounded by broken glass shards. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and Glen Jonas, a lawyer for the women, said the settlement was reached to avoid a long and costly trial, and that the women would share the US$4.2 million. Given the mother’s age, it was preferable to avoid long legal proceedings, Jonas said.
President punches minister
The muscle-bound Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov boasted on Tuesday that he had challenged a minister to a sparring session to punish him for errors, posting photographs of their punch-up on his Instagram page. Kadyrov wrote in a message on Instagram that he held the sparring session as a “pep talk” with the minister, who he accused of poorly maintaining his ministry’s building. “With a left and a right hook I explained to him ... that you need to use your head,” he wrote. Russia’s NTV on Tuesday aired footage of Kadyrov in the ring with Chechen Minister of Sports and Physical Culture Salambek Ismailov, who appeared to pull his punches, while Kadyrov aimed blows at his face and groin.