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Page last updated at 21:45 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 22:45 UK

Medvedev sacks Moscow police head

Dimitry Medvedev, file image
Mr Medvedev has also dismissed several other senior officers

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has sacked Moscow's police chief a day after a senior officer opened fire in a supermarket, killing three people.

A Kremlin statement said General Vladimir Pronin had been "relieved of his duties", but gave no reasons for the move.

It came after Major Denis Yevsyukov shot three people dead and injured six others. He was later arrested.

Mr Medvedev has also suspended several other senior officers in the capital.

Officials said an investigation into the shootings is under way.

Russia's Interfax news agency quoted a Kremlin source as saying the shooting was "definitely the principal reason" for Gen Pronin's dismissal.

"The leadership of the city of Moscow police should undoubtedly bear full responsibility for this tragic situation," the source said.

'Nervous breakdown'

Investigators said Major Yevsyukov, who was the head of police in the Tsaritsyno district, had been celebrating his 32nd birthday on Sunday night at a Moscow cafe.

But he had an argument with his wife, which colleagues said must have triggered a "psychotic attack" or "nervous breakdown".

Shortly after midnight, he arrived at the supermarket in a car and shot the person who had driven him there, investigators said.

TV channel Vesti-24 reported that he then went into the supermarket and began firing seemingly at random, shooting a female cashier in the face and fatally wounding a shopper.

A witness told the NTV channel: "He killed the cashier, we know for sure, and then there were more shots, three shots inside the store.

"Then a shop assistant came running up to us and asked: 'What are you doing here? There is a killer here and you should run away'."

Officers who interviewed Maj Yevsyukov said he did not remember anything of the incident.



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