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Prefect: Officers who shot man acted according to training and PPA policy

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Prosecutor Taavi Pern (left) and Prefect Kristjan Jaani.
Prosecutor Taavi Pern (left) and Prefect Kristjan Jaani. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

The man confronted and ultimately fatally shot by the police in Tallinn's Freedom Square on Tuesday was a 33-year-old Estonian citizen without a criminal record. The officers present had acted according to their training as well as the policy of the Police and Border Guard (PPA) for such a situation, Prefect Kristjan Jaani said at a press conference.

Jaani said that the police had received the first call at 11:04 a.m. on Tuesday that a man was walking around the old town brandishing knives. The police could see the man 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. He was immediately taken to the hospital by an ambulance, but according to Jaani, PPA was notified at around 12 p.m. that the man had succumbed to his injuries.

Prosecutor Taavi Pern said that they were treating the incident as a case of attempted manslaughter, and investigating it accordingly. "He tried to kill two police officers," Pern said. They were now looking into the man's background and possible motive, he added.

At this point, what they could confirm was that the man was 33 years old and an Estonian citizen without a criminal record. According to Jaani, the authorities have contacted the man's family.

Asked if he could confirm that the man had the word loll (fool, imbecile) written across his forehead, Jaani said that the man did have something written on his skin, but that he couldn't make any more specific statements at this point.

The officers present had acted exactly according to their training, Jaani said. It was 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.

PPA as a rule looked into every use of a firearm, every shot fired, Jaani explained.

BNS: Man shot by police identified

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

The North District Prosecutor's Office has also reported that there is reason to believe that Käärmann was in an unstable mental state.

Editor: Dario Cavegn, Aili Vahtla

Source: ERR, BNS

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