By Biodun Busari
No fewer than five people have died as a retired military officer shot five people dead in Sagarejo, a city in Eastern Georgia on Friday.
The shooting also left another five people injured before the gunman took his own life.
According to Common Space, the 49-year-old offender whose identity was concealed had served in the Georgian Defence Forces between 2006 and 2021.
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He was also in the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan.
Among the victims of the grave incident was a 38-year-old police officer, Otar Gvinashvili who sustained fatal injuries while trying to protect another person during the shooting. Gvinashvili was confirmed dead in the hospital.
The gunman reportedly began shooting with an automatic rifle from both balconies of his third-floor flat, including one overlooking the interior yard, in the early hours of Friday morning.
He reportedly shot dead four of his neighbours. A 21-year-old man remains in critical condition.
Georgian Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri reported that the shooter had shot himself in the head as security forces entered his flat.
He added that they had to sweep the area after discovering pins from hand grenades.
Gomelauri confirmed neighbours’ reports that the shooter’s adult son had fled the flat after his father started shooting.
The incident was first reported by a doctor at a local hospital, who complained on Facebook that doctors were unable to approach the scene to help the wounded.
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