Shooting in the Foreign Ministry

  • 2000-08-31
RIGA (BNS) - The prosecutor's office has opened criminal investigation in the incident that occurred in the Foreign Ministry on Aug. 27, when a ministry's security man injured his collegue and then shot himself to death.

The state police said it is not 100 percent sure that the security man shot his colleague incidentally because it is just as possible that the two security men had a quarel and one of them shot and injured the other one.

A shoot-out between two security guards resulted in one guard being wounded and the other shooting himself dead. The Panorama news program of the Latvian television Sunday night reported that the shoot-out had probably occurred as a result of careless handling of firearms.

Latvian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Liga Berg-mane said that shots had been fired in the ministry's lobby and the two security guards had been the only people in the area.

The wounded security guard had been admitted to Gailezers Hospital in Riga at 4:45 with a shot wound in his neck. A surgery was performed on the patient and he had been placed in the intensive care unit, but his health condition was stable. A source in the hospital said that at present it was not possible to make any predictions as to how long the guard will be required to stay in the intensive care. State Police spokesman Krists Leiskalns confirmed that the two guards had been in the same room when shots were fired, one of the guards had been wounded but the other had committed suicide. He could not say what caused the incident and when it happened.

The State Security Service is responsible for the security in the Foreign Ministry, and the ministry has nothing to do with the incident apart from the fact that the shooting occurred in its premises.

Nevertheless, the Foreign Ministry regrets the incident very much, Bergmane said. An investigation was launched to find out what exactly happened between the two guards in the ministry.