Georgian PM sends condolences after retired veteran kills 5 in country’s east

  • The Georgian PM said he was “deeply saddened” by the deadly shooting, leaving six dead in the city of Sagarejo on Friday. Photo: Government press office, 20 Jan 2023 - 13:01, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Friday offered his condolences to families and relatives of the five people who were killed after a retired military veteran opened fire in the country’s eastern Kakheti region earlier today before committing suicide. 

The shooting, in the city of Sagarejo, also saw five other people injured, before police stormed the shooter’s flat and he committed suicide.

Among those killed is Otar Gvinashvili, a 38-year-old police officer who reportedly used his body to shield another person during the shooting.

I express my sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of the deceased people, their relatives, as well as colleagues of the hero policeman and the entire Ministry of Internal Affairs.

I wish those injured in the attack a speedy recovery”, said the head of the Government. 

The 49-year-old shooter, who had served in the country’s Defence Forces between 2006 and 2021, including in the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, shot the victims from balconies of a flat.

Neighbours told local media he had rented his flat and was reportedly undergoing treatment for psychological problems.

The police investigation into the incident is looking into the shooting with the articles of premeditated murder and illegal possession and keeping of firearms.