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"Sakhalin shooter" denies guilt

February 11, 2014, 14:40 UTC+3 YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK
Earlier in the day, the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk town court sanctioned custody of Komarov
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YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, February 11. /ITAR-TASS/. The man who opened fire at parishioners in a church on the island of Sakhalin in Russia's far east, has denied his guilt, an investigator said.

At around 14:00, local time, on Sunday, Stepan Komarov, 25, a local resident employed by a local security firm, ran into the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ and opened indiscriminate fire. A nun and a parishioner were killed on the spot, and another six people were injured. The attacker was detained at the scene.

"When asked if he felt guilty, Komarov gave a negative answer. He also underlined that his action was based on "personal and firm convictions," investigator for special cases Anatoly O told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk town court sanctioned custody of Komarov. "He has neither children nor family, so there are no extra reasons to leave him at large," the prosecutor said.

According to the regional department of the Investigative Committee, Komarov said during the questioning that he had not offered resistance only because he had run out of ammunition. "He only admits that he's a suspect," the investigator said.

Yuri Khvashchevich, a court-appointed lawyer, said his client would undergo a sanity test.

"Komarov has asked for a single cell. This issue has not been settled yet," the lawyer said. "Until Tuesday, he has been kept in the pre-trial detention center under the regional police department."

He will be transferred to the remand ward of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk where he will stay for the period of investigation until April 9, 2014.

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