Policeman kills three in shop

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The Independent Online

An off-duty Russian police officer killed at least three people yesterday in a shooting spree in a Moscow supermarket after a family row at his birthday party, officials said.

Russian news agencies said Major Denis Yevsyukov, chief of a Tsaritsyno district police station, began firing at random shortly after midnight in a supermarket after having a violent argument with his wife and father-in-law at his party.

Television channel Vesti-24 showed blood-stained rags scattered on the asphalt outside the bright green Ostrov 24-hour store in southern Moscow.

"During the night Denis Yevsyukov had a fight with his wife and had a nervous breakdown," a police spokeswoman said.

Yevsyukov, who had just turned 32, shot a female cashier in her face, instantly killing her, and fatally shot a male shopper in the chest, Vesti said.

A spokeswoman for Russia's Prosecutor-General said at least 3 people were killed in the shooting. Russian news agencies said six or seven people were wounded and some were in hospital in critical condition.

Moscow police chief Vladimir Pronin said Yevsyukov, appointed to the senior position just few months ago, has no memory of the event.

"I talked to him at 4 a.m. this morning. His eyes were as big as saucers and he didn't have a clue what had happened. He just wept," Pronin told Interfax news agency.

"He was a great officer who was on a good career path, he obviously had some kind of psychotic attack," he told Vesti.