Defense Ministry Shooter Was Member of United Left

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Karen Drambjan Source: Photo:

The man who was killed during a shootout with police in the Defense Ministry building in Tallinn on August 11 was a member of the Estonian United Left Party and was familiar to the police, deputy director of the national security agency KAPO, Erik Heldna, said at a press conference.

As far as it is now known, Karen Drambjan (born 1954) was not in any way connected to the Defense Forces or the Ministry of Defense. It is also known that he did not take his own life as earlier reported by the Prosecutor's Office, but was killed during the police operation.

The entire incident took place in the entrance hall of the Defense Ministry headquarters, where Drambjan opened fire and detonated smoke bombs and at least 10 explosive devices. Defense League members were guarding the hall at the time when the man, carrying over 100 rounds of handgun ammunition, entered and fired the first shot.

He did not enter the staff rooms of the ministry, which were barred by security gates, nor did he take any hostages, Heldna said, overturning earlier reports that spoke of at least two hostages. Nobody sustained injuries during the incident, Heldna confirmed.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip told Delfi that the man had acted alone. "The motive of his action has remained unclear," Ansip said. "This is depressing. It looks like someone has been inspired by the events in Norway."

Drambjan was reportedly born in Yerevan, Armenia, held a university degree in law and owned a small law firm in the town of Maardu. He had joined the United Left, a minor political party that until recently claimed legal succession to the Soviet-era Communist Party, in 2009.


Erkki Sivonen

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