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Ventspils man kills acquaintance, himself

  • 2002-05-16
  • Jorgen Johansson
RIGA

A Ventspils businessman shot and killed an acquaintance on the morning of May 10 before killing himself outside a bank in the Latvian port city.

Police officials say Gunars Skele, 73, had just finished a meeting with businessman Dmitri Yashin at a notary's office when he drew a gun and started shooting Yashin and his girlfriend, identified by police only as Dace O., in a stairwell.

Skele shot up the stairs and bullets struck Yashin's girlfriend in the back and arm. He continued out onto the street and began firing again. Yashin was shot in the chest and head and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Skele, a co-owner of Buve, one of the largest construction companies in Ventspils, then shot himself in the head in front of a Hansabank branch office, according to the police.

Hansabank employees would not comment on the shooting nor would employees at the notary's office. Ventspils Police Chief Anatolijs Dzelzkalejs told the Baltic News Service that Skele and Yashin had closed a deal on the sale of forest land at the notary's office.

Police officials said the deal might have been illegal, which could have caused the dispute that led to the shooting.