Those killed are accused of being members of a group dubbed the ‘GTA gang’ after allegedly murdering 17 motorists in Russia
All three of those killed are said to have been part of a group standing trial for a series of brutal murders.
One of those wounded is rushed from the courthouse by medics
Another of the four people wounded is stretchered away to an ambulance
The shooting happened inside a court in a Moscow suburb
Russia’s Investigative Committee said the gunfight broke out when five handcuffed defendants were being escorted by two guards in a lift at the Moscow Regional Court.
Russia’s chief investigative body said one of the prisoners tried to strangle a guard.
The defendants then tried to grab firearms from court security officers and take hostages, it claimed.
Three of the defendants were killed and two wounded in a shootout with the court’s guards.
Two guards, one of them reportedly female, were injured and taken to hospital, the agency said.
Lawyer Sofia Rubasskaya is quoted as saying: “We were at a different session when we heard shots fired – more than 20 shots.
“We began to be evacuated. I saw a wounded woman bailiff, her face in blood. Later somebody said that an armed guard had been injured.”
Nataly Osipova, spokeswoman for the Moscow Regional Court, is quoted by Russia’s TASS news agency as saying the incident took place at a hearing in a case of a gang who are accused of terrorising and murdering Moscow motorists.
Russian media have dubbed the accused “the Grand Theft Auto gang” after the violent video game.
Prosecutors said the gang members were placing spikes on roads, forcing the motorists out of their vehicles and shooting them dead.
The building was evacuated after the shootout began
Cops can be seen outside the courthouse following the bloodbath
National Guard spokesman Lt Col Alexander Kudryavtsev talks to journalists
The men, all from Central Asia, are charged with 17 murders and two attempted murders in 2014.
Among their alleged victims are a policeman, a top banker, and a former dancer in a famous folk dancing troupe.
This police sketch was released when cops were hunting for the gang
Cops and journalists gather by the body of one of the gang’s 2014 victims
The killing spree the men are accused of got so serious that the FSB – the Russian equivalent of MI5 – and even the president Vladimir Putin got involved.
Putin at the time described the gang’s “crime” as “terrorist by nature”.