Drunk police officer shoots bouncer

  • 2000-07-27
  • Jorgen Johansson
RIGA - State police say off-duty Riga city Police Officer Igors Maslovskis was drunk when police picked him up from Riga's Old Town on July 21.

For reasons unknown, he held his sidearm in his hand as he walked, and also later in the evening when he tried to enter the bar-disco Zala Varna. The bouncer stood outside the entrance with his feet apart and arms crossed over his chest.

According to Viktors Pimanovs, the director of Zala Varna, Maslovskis told the security guard to move his leg so he could pass.

"Our security guard responded, 'put away your gun.' Then the police shot him in the leg. It really (s__ks) that every police officer or security guard can get a gun. It's a real mess," Pimanovs said.

Zala Varna's panic button was pressed and their security company, Falck Security, rushed to the scene and managed to apprehend Maslovskis and hold him fast until the police arrived.

Pimanovs said it was good that their security came as fast as they did, and that they caught the police officer.

"He [Maslovskis] was walking around drunk and we have started an investigation," Krists Leiskalns, spokesman for the state police, said.

The bouncer was rushed to a hospital as soon as possible after the shooting.

"There is now danger for his life," Leiskalns said.

Leiskalns refused to give the police officer's surname saying the surname would not be given until a judge has ruled the criminal police officer guilty or not.

"This is a policy all over the world," Leiskalns said. The suspect's name was learned subsequently from another source.

Currently there is an ongoing investigation within the police department to see what made Maslovskis act the way he did, and to establish if he has broken any laws.

Leiskalns said the internal investigation, so far, has shown that Maslovskis violated police codes when he drew his gun and fired.

"This paragraph is about how and when a police officer can use his firearm," Leiskalns said.

On July 24 Maslovskis was fired from the police force and released from custody. He is not allowed to leave Riga or change his address, and a criminal investigation has started.

Dzintra Subrovska, spokeswoman for the General Prosecutor's Office, said police are still investigating the case, and it is too soon to tell if there will be charges pressed.

"It happened just a few days ago," Subrovska said.