Russian former mayor found dead next to one other body after apparent shootout
The former mayor of Kiselyovsk, a city in Russia’s Kemerovo region, has been killed in a shootout near his home in the town of Verkh-Chumysh. Another body belonging to an unidentified man was also found near the home, Russia’s Investigative Committee reported. Taiga.info clarified that the former mayor in question is 57-year-old Sergey Lavrentyev, who held Kiselyovsk’s top government post until 2018.
According to investigators, the former mayor’s wife noticed two men’s silhouettes and the glare of a flashlight on her family’s property on the evening of October 31. She told her husband about the intruders, and he walked out of his home carrying a firearm. His wife subsequently heard several gunshots and then found the bodies of her husband and one other man. Both had multiple gunshot wounds.
“We believe that the criminal who was killed is a resident of the neighboring city. He appears to be approximately 40 years old,” the Investigative Committee noted. A criminal case has been opened under the section of Russia’s Criminal Codex that covers the murder of two individuals.
A local law enforcement source told the outlet VSE42.RU that there were “a whole lot of bullet casings, several dozen” at the site “from a Kedr automatic pistol and a hunting rifle.” That same source said at least five cars drove away from the former Kiselyovsk mayor’s house following the shooting. The outlet named “business interests” as one potential motive for the attack.
Both the Telegram-based outlet Mash and the regional news site Taiga.info named the second individual found at the scene as Marat Garipov, the head of the Belovsk Rescue Group. He had previously worked at a state-owned security group called the Agency for the Defense of the Kemerovo Region’s Population, and he held certificates as a third-class first responder and a master of sports in freestyle wrestling, according to Mash. At the time of the shootout, he was dressed in a camouflage outfit and a dark, full-face ski mask. A walkie-talkie, a pepper-spray canister, and a device for deterring dogs were also reportedly found on his person, wrote Taiga.info. The outlet indicated that no weapons were found in the possession of the alleged attacker.
Sergey Lavrentyev was elected mayor of Kiselyovsk in 2003 as a candidate for United Russia, the country’s ruling party. In August of 2018, after all mayoral elections in the Kemerovo region were canceled, the Kiselyovsk City Council appointed Lavrentyev on the recommendation of a committee that reviewed multiple candidates. However, Taiga.info reported, Lavrentyev resigned the following November.
Translation by Hilah Kohen