A gunman has shot one person dead and is feared to be holding several hostage after storming a sweets factory in Moscow.
The attacker, named as Ilya Averyanov, 49, injured at least three others as he went on the rampage at the facility in a southeastern area of the Russian capital.
Special forces troops were preparing to storm the Menshevik sweet plant amid reports that the plant’s owner was holed up inside with weapons.
A gunman has shot one person dead and is holding several hostage after storming a sweets factory in Moscow. Specialist police have been called to the scene
One report said he opened fire on three ‘visitors’ believed to be local prosecutors. They are believed to be wounded. There were claims that 31-year-old Alexey Kostikov was dead at the scene.
In a dramatic development, Averyanov told a Moscow radio station by phone: ‘I am the factory’s director. I am sitting inside here, barricaded.’
He accused state prosecutors of acting like a ‘criminal gang’ against him.
‘They have been following me for 4 years. They pulled my factory away from me by using fake documents.
‘They are buying everything, they are faking documents and use these fake documents in court.
‘This morning I came to work and I was stormed, they tried to take me with a gun, with other arms.
‘I have arms, too, today I defended myself. I shot one of them, sadly looks like I shot him to death. This is the story.
‘If I live, I’ll fight until the very end. Now I am being surrounded by special forces.
‘All’s well. Now I’ll be either shooting myself, or I’ll surrender’.
The head of Moscow police General Oleg Baranov was at the scene taking personal control. The sweet factory has been cordoned off.
Sources close to the company said that it is in debt and that Averyanov faces legal sanctions over the financial problems.
According to the Russian news website Tass, a law enforcement source said: ‘One person died in the shooting and three others were wounded.
‘A former owner came to the factory, shot dead a security guard and is now walking with weapons around the premises and is shooting.’
The area has been cordoned off while specialist police negotiators try to establish contact with the shooter.