Ratas condemns fatal shooting in Tallinn's Lasnamäe district

A police car.
A police car. Source: ERR

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) on Thursday strongly condemned the shooting on Ümera tänav in Tallinn's Lasnamäe district on Tuesday as a result of which a 36-year-old mother of two was fatally wounded.

"It is impossible for me to understand how events took such a tragic turn and very difficult to perceive that young children will be left without a mother," Ratas said.

He strongly condemned the shooter's act and expressed confidence that law enforcement authorities would find out all circumstances of the case. "I also hope that those who have lost a loved one will receive comprehensive support to help them cope with this difficult situation," Ratas said.

According to the prime minister, one must be able to resolve conflicts between people with words, not with violent acts.

The Harju County Court on Thursday took into custody 80-year-old Mati, who on Tuesday evening fatally shot a 36-year-old mother of two in Tallinn's Lasnamäe district.

The on-call judge of the county court satisfied the application submitted by North District Prosecutor Eneli Laurits and took the suspect into custody, initially for up to two months.

Shortly before 8 p.m. on Tuesday, the police received a call from an apartment building on Ümera tänav after shots were heard. A 36-year-old woman with gunshot wounds was found in an apartment and an ambulance took her to hospital in serious condition. However, despite the doctors' efforts, she died.

Police quickly identified on the location that an 80-year-old man had shot the woman and left the scene by car. The suspect was detained after about 40 minutes in the capital's Mustamäe district. It turned out that the elderly man was disturbed by the activities of the victim's children, so the man decided to shoot the children's mother.

Head of the North Prefecture of the Police and Border Guard Board Kristian Jaani said at a press conference on Wednesday that the man had previously been an assistant police officer for a long period of time.

"The suspect was an assistant police officer in 1995-2016. He was released from the duties of an assistant police officer in 2016 because he did not comply with the requirements arising from the law. Mainly because of his passivity," Jaani said.

Jaani said the suspect said that he had illegally acquired the weapon used in the crime years ago. "This revolver was reported missing by the previous owner in 1995," he added.

North District Prosecutor Eneli Laurits said that the suspect does not have a weapons permit.

"The suspect was detained very quickly and after that criminal proceedings were launched - at the scene, at the victim's place of residence, at the suspect's place of residence. The children were taken to hospital to check their health condition. The daughter of the suspect was interrogated as a witness, the suspect's apartment was searched to find illegal weapons, but no firearms were found. Whether it is necessary search it again in the course of the proceedings will be determined later," the prosecutor said.

According to Jaani, the police responded with extensive forces.

"The police arrived at the scene in four minutes. We found out the license plate number and personal details of the suspect from witnesses, and he was detained in Mustamae within 41 minutes. The suspect was sober. According to the initial version, the motive for the crime was that the lower level neighbor had been disturbed by the household noise from the upper level apartment," Jaani said on Wednesday.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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