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Shooting breaks out in Moscow courthouse

A shooting at a regional court in the Russian capital, Moscow, has left four people dead

1 August 2017, 3:14pm
The gunfight broke out after some of the defendants had tried to grab firearms from court security officers, and take hostages
The gunfight broke out after some of the defendants had tried to grab firearms from court security officers, and take hostages
Four people standing trial were killed when a gunfight broke out in a Moscow courthouse.

The shots were fired during the trial of a gang of 11 people accused of terrorising the city’s roads, killing dozens of motorists, Reuters news agency reported.

State-owned TASS news agency said the gunfight broke out after some of the defendants had tried to grab firearms from court security officers, and take hostages.

The lawyer defending the accused, Diana Tatosova, told Reuters by telephone that four of the 11 defendants had been killed, according to the chief investigator in the case.

RIA Novosti quoted another lawyer who said she heard at least 20 shots. Sofya Rubasskaya said she saw a guard and a court official injured.

Agencies quoted the Moscow region's health ministry as saying a 45-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman had been taken to the hospital from the Moscow Regional Court with gunshot wounds. 

Russia media dubbed the accused "the Grand Theft Auto gang," as prosecutors said the gang members were placing spikes on roads, forcing the motorists out of their vehicles and shooting them dead. 

The nine men, all from central Asia, are charged with 17 murders and two attempted murders. 

The courthouse has reportedly been evacuated.