Killer deliberately targeted taxi drivers, motive still unknown

PPA northern prefecture chief Kristian Jaani.
PPA northern prefecture chief Kristian Jaani. Source: ERR

Kristian Jaani, head of the Police and Border Guard Board's (PPA) northern prefecture, says the possible motive for Friday's murder of a Tallinn taxi driver is not yet known, though all indications suggest the killer deliberately targeted those in that profession.

Around 3.00 a.m. on Friday, 21 June, a 30-year-old Estonian man, Raivo Jürimäe, walked up to two parked taxis on Telliskivi street, close to the Balti Jaam train station, and opened fire on their drivers, loosing off a reported 11 rounds. One of the two victims, a 32-year-old man, died; the other is still in a critical condition in hospital.

Jürimäe remained at large through Friday morning. While at the time, the PPA stated there was no clear and present danger of an imminent shooting spree attack on the general public, Jürimäe's name and description was announced, and he was spotted at a bus stop in Kiili, about 20 km south of Tallinn city center, shortly after lunchtime Friday, and less than 12 hours after the attack.

A member of public alerted the PPA, who arrived at the scene. Shortly afterwards, Jürimäe put a bullet in his head, dying instantly. Jurimäe legally owned the weapon he used in his attack, a Tokarev TT pistol, and had no criminal record, it is reported.

"Ascertaining the conclusive motive is a major challenge for both the police as well as the prosecutor's office. But this case is very complicated, as the suspect is dead," Jaani said on ERR's current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" Friday evening. 

A search of Jürimäe's residence yielded no hints as to the attacks motives or planning, Jaani said.

"The information that led us to the suspect came from te public, with the help of online media and reporters," Jaani added, noting the PPA had received multiple tip-offs and not just one.

On the issue of firearms ownership, Jaani said that the current legislation in Estonia is sufficient.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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