Gunman opens fire in Estonian Defense Ministry

  • 2011-08-12
  • TBT Staff

A lone gunman targeted the Estonian Defense Ministry.

TALLINN -- Police have shot and killed a gunman who opened fire and set off a smoke bomb in the Estonian Defense Ministry.

Karen Drambjan (born 1954) broke into the defense ministry and threw a smoke bomb before opening fire with a handgun in an attempt to take hostages. He was killed when police special forces stormed the building.

"The motive of his action has remained unclear," Prime Minister Andrus Ansip told Delfi news portal. "This is depressing. It looks like someone has been inspired by the events in Norway."

The gunman reportedly had hundreds of rounds of ammunition, explosives and a gas mask.

Ministry employees were able to escape the building by jumping out of a first floor window. Defense Minister Mart Laar was not in the building at the time of the attack.

The deputy director of Estonian security agency KAPO, Erik Heldna, told journalists that Drambjan was a member of the Estonian United Left Party and was being monitored by police.