Police inquiry: Officer who shot knife-wielding man acted in self-defense ({{commentsTotal}})

An internal inquiry conducted by Estonia's Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) concluded that the fatal shooting by police officers of a 33-year-old man brandishing knives in Tallinn's Freedom Square last Tuesday was in self-defense.

As the PPA's internal investigation determined no breaches of conduct on the part of the officers, the investigation was closed. The criminal investigation being conducted to determine all details of the case remains underway, however, reported TV3 news broadcast "Seitsmesed uudised."

The North District Prosecutor's Office said on the afternoon of Oct. 31 that there was reason to believe that the man fatally shot by police that morning after brandishing knives in Tallinn's city center was in an unstable mental state.

Speaking at a press conference that afternoon, PPA Prefect Kristjan Jaani said that the police had received the first emergency call at 11:04 a.m. on Tuesday about a man who was walking around Tallinn's Old Town brandishing knives. The police could see the man, who was barefoot at the time, on a surveillance feed as well.

A patrol was on location 10 minutes after the first call. Officers confronted the man on the corner of Freedom Square, but he refused to put down the knife he was holding despite repeated orders by the police officers.

When the man started towards the officers, they first fired three warning shots and then one shot at the man. Hit in the chest, the man collapsed, and was shortly thereafter taken to the hospital by an ambulance, but according to Jaani, the PPA was notified at around 12 p.m. that the man had succumbed to his injuries.

The officers present had acted exactly according to their training, Jaani noted, as it was the PPA's policy to react "resolutely" if an officer is attacked with a cut-and-thrust weapon. The use of an officer's firearm in the case of such an attack was the standard response.

According to information made available to BNS that afternoon, the man shot by police that morning had been identified as 33-year-old Jaanus Käärmann, brother of Transferwise co-founder and CEO Kristo Käärmann.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS, ERR



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