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MOSCOW, January 17 (Itar-Tass) - Criminal leader Aslan Usoyan, also known as Ded Khasan, was gunned down by professional cold-blooded killer, who did not spare a passer-by to remove the mark, police experts told Itar-Tass on Thursday in comments on the high-profile assassination.
A police source said the professional killer had used a VAL silenced assault rifle which is standard equipment of special task force units. The dedicated ammunition can puncture bullet-proof vests of 2nd class or a 6mm-thick steel sheet.
"Aslan Usoyan was shot to death by a professional killer who accurately hit the mark at a range of 100 to 120 meters, but had no time to fire "an insurance shot" because of a passer-by. To carry the hit through, the criminal did not spare the woman, wounding her first in the leg and then in the chest in order to keep her from the line of fire," a law-enforcement source told Tass.
Aside from the sniper rifle, the killer had a gun. "Hitmen, and it was a well-planned contract hit by a sniper, always carry a pistol to rebuff a possible attack or remove an accidental witness," the source added.
Passers-by seldom fall victim to sniper fire, "although shooting in a public place, especially in broad daylight, is fraught with tremendous danger for people, who might be accidental witnesses," police said.
The wounded woman is now in serious condition.
Police are also checking how the criminals had entered the elite apartment house that belongs to the house of actors. They must have visited it several times, in order to find the best shooting position.
Six shell casings were found in the attic of the house where the killer had hidden, police said.
Earlier reports said Usoyan was attacked in Povarskaya Street as he was walking out of a restaurant. The victim died in hospital's reception ward.
"Criminal wars are the main lead; the crime has been carefully planned; the killer set the ambush in advance knowing which restaurant Usoyan would visit, and opened fire as he emerged," a law-enforcement officer added.
It was the second attack on Usoyan in the past few years. On September 16, 2010, an unidentified person shot at him in the entrance hall of a house in Tverskaya Street.
The 73-year-old Usoyan, a native of Georgia, was one of the most influential criminal leaders of the past two decades. Media reports said he was an ally of Vyacheslav Ivankov /alias Yaponchik/, another criminal boss gunned down in Moscow in 2009.
Ded Khasan was reportedly detained in Ukraine in April 2010 for carrying a fake passport and deported to Russia where he was set free.
Criminal proceedings were opened over murder and illegal turnover of weapons, the press service of the Investigative Committee said.
Former Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov believes the crime is related to another wave of redistribution in the criminal underworld. "In the 1990s, some criminals were imprisoned; they've been released now; but their places are occupied. So it's another redistribution; another wave," Kulikov told Echo Moscow radio.
Ded Khasan was first sentenced for 19 years. He reoffended repeatedly. "Usoyan has survived several assassination attempts. The SK is considering various leads, including the victim's criminal activity," investigators said.
On Wednesdsay evening, lawmakers at the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament said the assassination was not returning the country to "the troublesome 1990s."
"Of course, this audacious crime was prepared in advance," chairwoman of the house committee for security and combating corruption Irina Yarovaya /United Russia faction/ told Tass, "I believe the investigators will ascertain the motive behind the crime and its masterminds and perpetrators. Any contract hits made in such demonstrative manner in public places are fraught with special danger to the public."
"There are no reasons to believe in the comeback of "the troublesome 1990s, or in the upsurge of criminal wars. We have a new country today, new laws and new law and order," Yarovaya said.