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Russian law enforcement officers kill three suspects on trial over ‘Grand Theft Auto gang’ shootings in Moscow

Russian law enforcement officers have killed three suspects on trial for 17 gang murders after the suspects seized guns from their guards and tried to flee a court in the Moscow region, officials said.
Five handcuffed defendants were being escorted in a lift under guard at the court 12 miles (20km) north-west of Moscow city when one of the prisoners attacked a guard and attempted to suffocate him, Russia’s investigative committee said.
The prisoners were able to free themselves and grab weapons from their escorts, investigators said. When the lift opened on the third floor of the court building, officers from Russia’s national guard began firing at the attackers.
Police said in a statement that three of the prisoners were killed and two wounded, adding that one law enforcement officer was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds. Investigators said two convoy guards also suffered multiple injuries and one was being treated in hospital.
A lawyer at the court, Sofya Rubasskaya, said: “I heard shots; there were more than 20 shots.” She said she saw a wounded female guard whose “face was all bloody”.
After the shootout, everyone in the court was evacuated and all hearings postponed, the lawyer said.
The five suspects, nicknamed the “Grand Theft Auto gang” by Russian media, went on trial last summer over a series of high-profile driveby shootings around Moscow’s ring road.
In the middle of the night, gang members placed metal spikes on roads to burst the tyres of passing cars, then gunned down their drivers and disappeared.
The investigation into the gang charged nine defendants, all from ex-Soviet central Asian states, with murder, banditry, robbery and arms trafficking.
The gang’s suspected leader was killed during an attempt to capture him.

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