Georgian officials send condolences over deadly shooting in eastern Kakheti region

  • A retired military veteran killed five individuals early on Friday before committing suicide. Photo: 1TV., 20 Jan 2023 - 16:16, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian officials have sent their condolences over the deadly shooting incident in the eastern Kakheti region early on Friday that left six dead and five injured.

Responding to the incident where a 49-year-old retired military veteran targeted individuals from a balcony before committing suicide as police stormed into his flat in the city of Sagarejo, President Salome Zourabichvili, Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili, head of the ruling Georgian Dream party Irakli Kobakhidze and the Secretary General of the party Kakha Kaladze made comments later during the day.

The officials highlighted the “heroism” of Otar Gvinashvili, a 38-year-old police officer who died in hospital from injuries after reportedly using his body to shield another person during the shooting, and sent their wishes of recovery to those injured.

A 21-year-old remains in critical condition following the shooting. Photo: 1TV. 

Media reports said the average age of the five victims who died ranged between 30 and 35, with all of them residents of the same or nearby residential blocks. The Georgia Red Cross Society has identified Zakro Matiashvili, its employee, among the targets and expressed“deep sorrow” over the “horrible tragedy”. 

One of the five injured victims remains in critical condition following the incident.

The shooter was confirmed to have served in the country’s Defence Forces between 2006 and 2021, including in the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, and was reportedly suffering 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.