A man was shot in the lobby of Tallinn's Metropol Hotel at a few minutes to 2 p.m. yesterday. The victim (45) was shot in the leg. He was taken to hospital, and his condition is not life threatening. The prosecution claims to know suspects' identities.
Superintendent of the City Center police station Artur Gelvei told journalists at the scene that a single shot was fired that hit the victim. The suspected shooter was not staying at the hotel on Roseni street and is believed to be from Tallinn. Another two men accompanied the perpetrator but are not suspected of having been involved in the shooting.
Police officers were still looking for men fitting descriptions given by witnesses at 4.30 p.m. yesterday. The possible shooter is a man in his fifties, who was wearing gray pants and dark shoes. He might have been accompanied by two men, one wearing a brown leather jacket and the other a black short coat.
“We currently believe the suspects and the victim might have known each other,” said Northern Prefecture's operations chief Veiko Randlane. “Work is underway at the scene, officers are checking different areas of the city, and we are gathering information on possible perpetrators.”
One hotel employee told Postimees that while they did not witness the row, noises of a struggle could be heard. “Colleagues said that a fight had broken out during which the participants resorted to hitting each other with chairs. The thumps were so loud we could hear them in the other rooms. Next we heard the short, which sounded distinctively different from the previous noises,” they said.
When the employee went to see what had happened, they only found the victim. He was sitting down and was conscious.
Witnesses said that the shooter had been very calm. After taking the shot, he put a chair that had been knocked over back on its legs and left the hotel unhurriedly. Hotel employees have often seen the suspects eat at the hotel. The employee added that it took the police five and an ambulance eight minutes to arrive.
“We have reason to believe this was a settling of accounts that led to a fight and a shooting,” said senior prosecutor of the Northern District Prosecution Saskia Kask via a press representative. “The police are vetting possible scenarios of the dramatic row and already have a list of suspects, whereas no one has been detained as of yet.”
The investigation is conducted by the criminal bureau of the northern prefecture and overseen by the Northern District's Prosecutor's Office.