A 75-year-old man suspected of shooting and wounding two security guards in the Kopli district of Tallinn on Sunday was arrested in Riga in the early hours of Friday.
The male suspect has been identified by his first name and age as Alexander, aged 75.
The district prosecutor in charge of the investigation, Anneli Lumiste, said that the intense work done by the investigators in the course of five days has borne fruit and by now the police have collected enough evidence to identify the suspect, apprehend him and declare him suspect in a very grave offense, spokespeople for the North district prosecutor's office told BNS.
The prosecutor said that seeking custody for the suspect is the only option for them at this point and that the origin of the firearm, what the suspect was doing in the abandoned building and why he opened fire on the security guards will be established in the course of the proceedings.
If convicted on attempted murder charges, the suspect faces a sentence of 8-20 years or life in prison.
That the suspect has no prior convictions made apprehending him more difficult, Roger Kumm, head of service at the office of criminal investigations of the North prefecture of the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board, said.
"Attacks using a firearm are extremely rare in Estonia, not to speak of attacks against strangers. An act like this gives a blow to society's feeling of security and it is our aim to solve crimes like this immediately, not thinking of saving our resources. As a result of the work we managed to identify the perpetrator of the attack. At midnight we launched a police operation in which we involved our southern neighbors, and together with the Latvian colleagues we apprehended him at night," Kumm said.
The police official added that the suspect will be collected from Riga shortly.
At present, work is going on to complete the necessary documents so that the suspect could be handed over to Estonia. The prosecutor's office has sought custody for the suspect and a court has remanded him in custody in absentia.
A call was made to the alarm center at 11:10 a.m. on Sunday saying that there had been a shooting in the Kopli Lines area, a district of early 20th century workers' barracks that is undergoing redevelopment. The security guards were reportedly responding to a motion detector signal coming from a derelict building in the Kopli Lines area.
One of the guards sustained life-threatening injuries, but his life was saved by medics. The injuries of the other guard were not life threatening but also required surgery.
The suspect managed to flee the crime scene.
The police arrested a man in the area corresponding to the profile of the shooter, who was released later after it was ascertained that he was not linked to the shooting.
The 75-year-old suspect is currently being held in a hospital in Riga because of a gun shot wound that he inflicted on his own hand in addition to shooting the guards.
Editor: Dario Cavegn