MOSCOW, January 17 (Itar-Tass) - The guards of criminal leader Aslan Usoyan, who was assassinated on Wednesday, tried to protect him from the killer, spokesman for the Moscow department of the Investigative Committee Sergei Stukalov told Itar-Tass.
In comments on the crime, the SK spokesman disclosed some details. Aslan Usoyan, also known as Ded Khasan, accompanied by two guards, arrived at the restaurant at Povarskaya Street by 14:00, Moscow time on Wednesday. One guard was opening the door to a welcoming party of three restaurant employees. The killer shot as Usoyan was entering, and a guard promptly pushed Usoyan inside and closed the door. "The other guard who remained outside pulled out his service pistol and shot in the killer's direction," according to Stukalov.
Usoyan was wounded in the neck, and a restaurant employee was wounded in the thigh and chest. The killer made five more shots at the closed door.
Restaurant personnel called an ambulance, but Usoyan's guards provided emergency medical aid to him, tried to stop bleeding, and rushed him to the Botkin hospital without waiting for the medics. Usoyan later died in hospital, the spokesman said.
The 30-year-old restaurant employee was rushed to the Sklifasovsky emergency medicine hospital. She is in an IT ward in critical condition.
Supposedly, the killer was shooting from the stairwell of an apartment building between the 5th and 6th floors. Aside from six shell casings at the scene, police found a folding hair and a fragment of cloth.
The SK said Usoyan had been gunned down by a professional who 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.
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.