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Three dead as GTA gang open fire on guards in courthouse

01 August 2017

The shootout left three of defendants dead and two of them injured.

Agencies quoted the Moscow region's health ministry as saying a 45-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman had been taken to the hospital from the Moscow Regional Court with gunshot wounds.

Three gang members have been shot dead after grabbing guns from guards during a trial at Moscow Regional Court.

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The defendants are accused of being members of a group, dubbed in Russian media the Grand Theft Auto Gang after the computer game. Three were killed and the other two were disarmed and detained. RIA Novosti lawyer Sofya Rubasskaya said she heard at least 20 shots fired.

Five of the accused "attacked police officers (escorting them) and tried to seize their weapons", while in an elevator, police said.

The incident took place before a hearing in the case of a gang of nine people suspected of killing more than a dozen motorists while terrorising Moscow's roads for months in 2014. "Later somebody said that an armed guard had been injured".

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After the shoot-out, everyone in the court was evacuated and all hearings have been postponed, the lawyer said.

The investigation into the gang charged a total of nine defendants, all of whom originated from ex-Soviet Central Asian states, with murder, "banditry", robbery and arms trafficking.

The GTA Gang were said to have been given the name following charges relating to the murder of vehicle drivers in Moscow and other areas in 2012 to 2014.

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Three dead as GTA gang open fire on guards in courthouse