An Omsk region police officer shot dead his girlfriend and a taxi driver before turning his service pistol on himself, raising new concerns about the psychological fitness of the country’s police force after a Moscow policeman went on a shooting spree in April.
Alexander Mets, 21, a police lieutenant from the town of Nazyvayevsk, located 150 kilometers northwest of the city of Omsk, is suspected of acting out of jealousy when he killed his 21-year-old girlfriend on Monday afternoon in Omsk, the Investigative Committee said in a statement Tuesday.
Mets had a spotless service record before the shootings, Omsk region police said in a statement.
Mets left work in Nazyvayevsk without permission at about 5 p.m. Monday, taking his service Makarov pistol and 16 bullets, the Investigative Committee said. He departed to Omsk in a gypsy taxi car driven by an acquaintance, a 33-year-old resident of Nazyvayevsk, it said.
Mets met his girlfriend in the courtyard of the apartment building where she lived in Omsk, quarreled with her and shot her three times in the back. The woman died at the scene, the committee said.
The policeman then returned to the car and shot the driver dead in the chest, it said. After pushing the body out of the car, Mets started driving to Nazyvayevsk but stopped less than halfway back and shot himself.
The bodies were discovered late Monday afternoon, the committee said.
The girlfriend and driver were not identified.
The Investigative Committee said it has opened a criminal investigation.
The Interior Ministry said it would carry out a check of its own on the Omsk region police force. A group of officials from the ministry’s security and recruitment departments will visit the Omsk region to check regional police for compliance with the ministry’s regulations on the psychological fitness of police officers, work discipline and use of service weapons, an Interior Ministry representative told Interfax.
The Omsk region prosecutor’s office said it would carry out an investigation into the Nazyvayevsk police department where Mets worked.
In April, Moscow police Major Denis Yevsyukov killed three and wounded six during a shooting rampage at a Moscow supermarket that shocked the nation.
Investigators said Yevsyukov snapped after quarreling with his ex-wife. The shootings took place on Yevsyukov’s 32nd birthday.
Yevsyukov, who recently finished a battery of psychological tests pending trial, told investigators after his detention that Moscow police chief Vladimir Pronin had advised him to shoot himself dead for what he had done, Kommersant reported Tuesday, citing a lawyer with the Agora human rights group.
President Dmitry Medvedev fired Pronin shortly after the shooting spree.